The New England Patriots have two closed practices scheduled this week for Wednesday (June 1st) and Thursday (June 2nd), but we already have some positive news creeping out.
Per the Boston Herald's Jeff Howe, cornerback Malcolm Butler is going to join the team after skipping last week's practice session.
Malcolm Butler is expected to be at Gillette Stadium this week for OTAs, per source who said last week's absence wasn't a big deal.— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) May 31, 2016
I've been given a very strong indication Butler's absence has nothing to do with his contract situation.— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) May 31, 2016
More on that, Butler doesn't want to draw any added attention to himself, especially after he missed a flight and was late to 2015 OTAs.— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) May 31, 2016
Butler famously arrived late to last season's OTAs and head coach Bill Belichick sat him out during camp. Butler went on to have a Pro Bowl season, but the cornerback wants to avoid similar headlines this year.
Also, it seems as if Butler doesn't want to have his absence linked to his cheap contract. It's important to note that his absence last week not being connected his contract does not invalidate ESPN's Mike Reiss' report that Butler wants his contract redone before the start of the season. They are not mutually exclusive.
Hopefully Butler can have a productive offseason and hopefully he can get a new contract before September.
The next practices open to the media will take place June 7th through 9th.