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Patriots trade rumor: New England “still open to trading Malcolm Butler”

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The Patriots are looking to move some key assets.

Los Angeles Chargers v New England Patriots Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The New England Patriots shipped quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers for an early second round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, but the team is certainly not done making calls before Tuesday’s 4:00 PM ET trade deadline.

CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora reported earlier that the Patriots are thinking of ways to flip their new second round pick for a defensive lineman that could help the team, and he has other rumors about the Patriots, too.

According to La Canfora, the Patriots are “still open to trading Malcolm Butler, who could be paired with that [second round pick] for [a] quality player.” La Canfora also said that the Patriots are “looking for run stuffers and more.”

What run stuffers are worth an All Pro cornerback and a second round pick? Not a single one, in my opinion, although I’d listen if it were a player like Saints DL Cameron Jordan, who is under contract through 2020 and would cost the Patriots less than $10 million per season. Someone like Giants DL Damon Harrison could be interesting, too.

Moving Butler would make some sense, especially if the Patriots don’t believe him to be a part of the team’s future with Stephon Gilmore, Eric Rowe, Jonathan Jones, and Cyrus Jones all under contract, and with Johnson Bademosi emerging as a viable depth option.

But the Patriots would need to get an annual All Pro player for a Butler-and-pick package, and I still don’t think I’d take either of those trades. Butler is incredibly valuable to the Patriots suddenly very good defense and even an elite run stuffer doesn’t seem like a fair exchange.