The New England Patriots signed CB Stephon Gilmore to a major contract deal and have not signed restricted free agent CB Malcolm Butler. Rumors are swirling that Butler is unhappy with having to play out multiple years on a cheap contract and believes that he deserves more money.
Butler’s agent issued a statement via ESPN’s Mike Reiss to try and clear the air on behalf of his client.
“The Patriots haven’t approached Malcolm about his contract since last year, and anything that says he keeps asking for the moon is completely false,” Simpson said.
If the Patriots and Butler haven’t discussed his contract “since last year,” then that’s a story line that can go for miles. Why haven’t the two had any contact?
Is it because the two sides were too far away from an extension, and the Patriots didn’t want to insult Butler with a lowball offer, and wanted him to see his options in free agency?
Was Butler asking for too much and the Patriots decided to go the Jamie Collins or Wes Welker route and move on via trade (WR Brandin Cooks!) or via replacement (CB Stephon Gilmore!)?
Or are the Patriots simply not interested in reaching a long term deal with Butler, and are perhaps hoping that a 2017 season could decrease his contract value?
Also, the Patriots can’t trade Butler until he signs a contract, so you would think the Patriots would have reached out if a trade was in the cards.
There are endless discussions and angles to take with this.
Butler, for his part, is just chillin’ and waiting for whatever comes his way:
#Patriots CB Malcolm Butler just now to me on his future: "I'm just going w/ the flow. I can’t tell the future. I’m just a CB. I'm not a GM”— Josina Anderson (@JosinaAnderson) March 10, 2017
The Patriots have been extremely active thus far in free agency. Perhaps they’re not done wheeling and dealing- and they’ll have to talk to Butler and his agent sooner rather than later.