The bottom line: As if they weren't already, the Patriots will be Super Bowl favorites next year should they keep Butler around.
New England Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler has finally accepted his restricted free-agent tender after signing the said contract on Tuesday. In fact, I know we're not going to do that.
Butler has visited the Saints, but they declined to make an offer that would have required them to compensate New England with a first-round draft pick. The final pick of round one has been traded two of the past three years as National Football League teams vie for the opportunity to have a player under team control for that additional fifth year. New Orleans could flip that pick right back to New England for Butler.
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The Patriots don't have a 2017 draft pick until early in the third round (No. 72 overall). The one time over the past three years the final pick of round one wasn't traded, it was held by the Patriots. Butler had four interceptions last season.
Payton then revealed that the team wants to get Butler thru a trade and that it can only happen once the cornerback signs a contract with New England. "If you do bring Malcolm Butler aboard you still expect him to play not only at a Pro Bowl level, but an All Pro level".
If the Patriots don't trade Butler, he would likely report once mandatory work starts, to avoid getting fined.