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All possible Malcolm Butler draft pick trade scenarios between the Patriots and Saints

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The Patriots and Saints have a lot of room for negotiation.

New England Patriots CB Malcolm Butler signed his restricted free agent tender this week and Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio left the door open for a potential trade of the cornerback for early draft picks. The likely counterpart is the New Orleans Saints, the only team that was seriously linked to Butler during the restricted free agent negotiation period.

There’s a chance a team like the Tennessee Titans or the Chicago Bears could be interested in acquiring Butler now that he would no longer cost their original first round picks, but the Saints remain the clubhouse favorite.

We know the Saints won’t trade their original 11th overall pick for Butler, creating a ceiling for trade value. New England wants a first round pick, based on the Patriots’ first round tender of Butler, making the 32nd overall pick the floor. The Saints also own the 32nd overall pick from the Patriots as a result of the WR Brandin Cooks trade.

Any trade of Butler would involve some sort of draft value between the 11th and 32nd overall selections. The Saints could trade down from the 11th overall pick, or they could package a group of selections to provide the equivalent value of a first round pick by the standard draft value chart.

Here’s a table of how the Patriots and Saints could forge a trade with the equivalent value of every pick between the 11th and 32nd overall selections. I’ll provide my thoughts on likely trades after the table.

Malcolm Butler Trade Values

Pick Equiv Saints Give Patriots Give
Pick Equiv Saints Give Patriots Give
11 11
12 32, 42, 76 131, 163, 200
13 32, 42, 103
14 32, 42, 103 131
15 32, 42
16 32, 42 131, 163
17 32, 42 96
18 32, 76, 103, 196
19 32, 76, 103 200
20 32, 76, 103 163
21 32, 76
22 32, 76 163
23 32, 76 131
24 32, 76 131, 163
25 42, 76, 196 131, 163
26 42, 76, 196
27 32, 103
28 32, 103 183
29 32, 103 131
30 32, 76, 196 72, 131
31 32, 196
32 32

Personally, I think the most likely trades would be:

Equivalent: 17th overall
Saints give: 32nd, 42nd
Patriots give: 96th

This would result in the Saints giving up just one net selection in exchange for a top flight cornerback, while the Patriots would gain picks in the first and second rounds, while retaining one of their two picks in the third round. The Saints might view this as giving up too much, though.

Equivalent: 21st overall
Saints give: 32nd, 76th
Patriots give: Nothing

This trade provides less value for the Patriots, but they would end up with a first round pick and three selections in the third round- and perhaps that extra pick in a deep draft is valuable to Bill Belichick and company. The Saints might want to get a pick in return to maintain their volume of draft slots.

Equivalent: 26th/27th overall
Saints give: 42nd, 76th, (196th)
Patriots give: Nothing

The Saints’ second and third round picks have slight greater equivalent value than the 27th overall pick, while adding in the 196th overall pick bumps the trade equivalence to the 26th overall pick. The Patriots might be happy to get a second and third round pick in such a deep draft, while the Saints might be thrilled to keep both of their first round picks.

Which trade would you make?