No matter where Malcolm Butler ends up - Foxboro, NO, parts unknown - told he is attacking his workouts & plans on "proving" his worth (1/2)— Michael Giardi (@MikeGiardi) April 5, 2017
(2/2) Source also tells me Butler has his head in the "right place" even if he has to play under tender. Still hasn't gotten insurance tho— Michael Giardi (@MikeGiardi) April 5, 2017
Actually, last one (for now). Source close to Butler says he's "not over" Gilmore deal or Sherman interest but knows he "can't change it"— Michael Giardi (@MikeGiardi) April 5, 2017
Butler has been linked to a possible trade with the New Orleans Saints, but has still not signed his first-round tender for $3.91 million. He cannot be traded until he signs his tender.
The Patriots signed CB Stephon Gilmore to a deal worth $13 million per season in free agency, which Butler perceived as a slap in the face because the Patriots told him they weren’t going to pay a cornerback more than $10 million per season. New England has also been linked to Seattle Seahawks CB Richard Sherman, who could be added for $11.3 million per year and remain interested in adding Sherman if Butler does not sign an extension.
It would appear that Butler is planning on putting together a strong 2017 season and will enter free agency in 2018, as opposed to signing an extension for less money this current offseason. Like Giardi, I would advise that Butler buy injury insurance because he’s either going to be making a ton of money that will pay for the insurance a thousand times over, or he’s going to get hurt and need the insurance.
Butler will still have to sign his tender, and perhaps the Patriots could come back to the negotiating table as the 2017 season moves forward with an offer than Butler might find acceptable. For now, it doesn’t seem like there is an extension in mind in the coming months.