Will The Saints Sign Malcolm Butler This Week?
Are the New Orleans Saints going to sign New England Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler this week?
That's apparently very possible, with head coach Sean Payton confirming that the 2015 Pro Bowler will be visiting the Saints on Thursday.
Now, notice in the report from Ian Rapoport, it says "then talk trade", because even if the Saints sign Butler, that doesn't mean he would even be on the roster next season.
The 27-year old Butler is a restricted free agent, meaning that the Patriots would have an opportunity to match any offer that he would agree to with the Saints.
If the Patriots would fail to match the offer, the Saints would owe them a first round draft choice.
Of course, the Saints currently have two first round draft choices for the 2017 NFL Draft, after acquiring the 32nd overall pick from the Patriots last week, in exchange for receiver Brandin Cooks.
For Butler to be with New Orleans next year, New England would have to decline to match any offer that Butler would sign with the Saints, or the two franchises would have to work out some sort of trade.
A native of Vicksburg, Mississippi, Butler played his college football at West Alabama, before signing with the Patriots as an undrafted free agent following the 2014 NFL Draft.
In three NFL seasons, all with New England, Butler has appeared in 43 games, including 33 as a starter, accumulating 122 tackles and 6 interceptions.