The New England Patriots don't have a first or second round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft and the expectation was for the franchise to flip QB Jimmy Garoppolo or CB Malcolm Butler prior to the draft in exchange for early selections.
The MMQB's Peter King also reported on Monday that the Saints are leaning toward keeping all of their current draft picks, one of which is the 32nd pick that they acquired from the Patriots for receiver Brandin Cooks. This still doesn't rule out the Saints changing their offer depending on how their draft goes, but waiting until the after the draft produces a litany of new issues to overcome. The 27-year-old cornerback has had an incredible NFL career, despite only being in the league for three years.
Over the past few months, there were reports going around that the Saints were interested in the one-time Pro Bowler.
Butler's best, most realistic option is to play his ass off in 2017.
Authorities say 5 dead in New York City fire
Another big fire days earlier in Ridgewood, Queens, killed firefighter William Tolley, 42, and injured four civilians. The 3-alarm fire broke out in a two-story home on 48 Avenue in the Jamaica section of Queens. "The smoke was heavy".
Butler wound up signing the Pats' offer sheet last Tuesday, three days before there was a deadline on his right to bargain with other teams. But that price tag isn't worth it ahead of one of the deepest drafts we've seen in a long time. That's two opportunities to land an impact player who could help the team immediately for multiple seasons under a rookie contract. They could just sign him as a free agent next offseason and given the fact they've already discussed a long-term deal with Butler gives them familiarity with him on the market in 2018. He would have sought out a contract worth top-tier cornerback money.
Talks between the Saints and Butler were so advanced that the two sides had reportedly come to a "basic agreement" on a long-term deal that would have placed him amongst the highest-paid cornerbacks in the NFL, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (h/t Kevin Patra of NFL.com).
Butler previously did not sign his tender in hopes that another National Football League team might sign him to an offer sheet before last Friday's deadline.