Patriots Talk: Is a Malcolm Butler Trade Worth the Saints’ 11th Pick?
If Saints want Butler, it would be for their pick, 11th overall. You decide if that trade happens.
— Michael Lombardi (@mlombardiNFL) March 19, 2017
Last week, we discussed about the possibility of what type of trade the New England Patriots could agree to in order to trade [Cornerback] Malcolm Butler. Due to to Butler being a restricted free agent that is under a first-round tender, many have stated that the cost would take the New Orleans Saints‘ 11th overall pick in order to make the deal workable. However, it would seem that last week’s negotiations went well as both Butler and the Saints have warmed up to the possibility of having him under their roster in 2017.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 16, 2017
However, the possibility of this happening was never likely and its seemingly more evident that the Saints will possibly try to negotiate the 32nd pick back to the Patriots with an additional pick instead to make up for it. This deal would have been more valuable had Butler signed the first round tender earlier before the finalization of the trade for [Wide Receiver] Brandin Cooks.
There were many rumors about Butler being involved in the trade but they ultimately turned out to be false. The only reason why Butler has yet to sign his first round tender is because he has yet to agree to a long-term deal with either team. But when him and his agent do come to agreement and sign the tender, then the Patriots could get him sent to the Saints for the first round pick. If this happens the Saints would have given the Patriots Brandin Cooks, their first and fourth round picks in exchange for Malcolm Butler, the Patriots’ first and third-round picks.
On paper, that deal would seem actually worse for the Patriots because it means the Patriots lose more overall draft capital in the end by losing their third round pick. But considering that Bill Belichick always trades down, that pick would likely be gone anyway to get more picks in the second round. Till then, the Patriots have Butler under a first round tender no matter what happens and the Saints will try the hardest to make sure that 11th first round pick will not be moved.
Realistically, nobody involved in the negotiations thinks the 11th pick will be involved but they've got another month to find out for sure.
— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) March 19, 2017
The talks will last for roughly a month till we know where the chips will fall. However, to give a reminder: Butler was an un-drafted free agent, he has won two Super Bowls in his career, has been to a Pro-Bowl already. Butler has proven he is a great cornerback in the NFL (potentially top 10 easily) if he can work to his strengths as he has covered players like Pittsburgh Steelers [Wide Receiver] Antonio Brown or New York Giants [Wide Receiver] Odell Beckham Jr. Butler is a high value player for any defense if he is in the right system, and I believe the Patriots should consider keeping him if they fail in getting anything but the 11th overall pick.