New Orleans Saints: Are new Malcolm Butler rumors true?

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /

Today, rumors flew about Malcolm Butler wanting to be on the New Orleans Saints badly but are the rumors actually true or just more fluff?

When the New Orleans Saints traded away Brandin Cooks, it seemed like the New England Patriots would send a player in return. Instead, they gave the Saints their first-round pick, a third-round pick, and the Saints gave Cooks and a fourth-round pick. As late this week, there were rumors about Malcolm Butler being traded to the Saints.

Since then, Butler has attended offseason workouts and signed a franchise tender. The lack of long-term contract kept hope alive. Now, it looks like Butler will be staying in New England, at least for the time being. That doesn’t mean he wants to be there, though.

According to NESN’s Mike Girardi, Butler wanted to be in New Orleans. Girardi broke it down saying:

"He wanted them badly. They couldn’t work out a deal. So what’s he supposed to do now? Sit at home? No, you suck it up. You have to turn yourself back into a Patriot at least for a year and hope. Who knows, maybe you do your work and maybe they say, ‘Hey, Malcolm, you know what, we can’t give you Gilmore money. But maybe we can find something. Maybe we’ve got $10 or $11 million."

The main reason Girardi believes Butler wanted to go there was because of the money and who can blame him?

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As one of the best cornerbacks on the Patriots roster, he deserves a big contract and it looks like Pats aren’t willing to pay him that. Plus with the recent signing of Stephon Gilmore, Butler has some competition. In New Orleans, he wouldn’t be dealing with much except maybe Marshon Lattimore who’s a rookie. He’d be joining a struggling defense in need of a playmaker and could become “their guy” in New Orleans.

Obviously, the two teams weren’t able to find a mutually beneficial deal. One avenue they could have gone down would be Cooks for Butler. It might not have been completely equal, but throw in a few draft picks and maybe it could work. The Saints could have given the Patriots back their first-round pick for Butler and maybe even a late-round pick too. There are multiple ways it could have happened, but nothing worked.

Looking at Butler’s contract, the Patriots aren’t spending much on him. His franchise tender gives him $3.91 million for the season and way less than he deserves. His production on the field has been phenomenal and let’s not forget the 2015 Super Bowl interception. He was key in the Patriots winning Super Bowl XLIX and the Saints would be willing to pay him as such. According to Patriots’ reporter Jeff Howe, Butler was looking at $50 million-plus contract.

It was unclear how long it would keep him in New Orleans, but it would have been huge for everyone involved. Even though it didn’t happen, I wouldn’t count Butler out of the running as a Saint. Next year, they might try to pursue him again and get him.

It’s hard to say whether the rumors are true, but I can believe it. Butler wanted a big contract and the New Orleans Saints were willing to give him that. Things didn’t work out and now, he’s with the Patriots for another year. Currently, it might not be an ideal situation for Butler, but anything can happen in a second.

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Regardless, a trade for Butler is all but gone now. The Saints drafted Marshon Lattimore and Butler attended offseason workouts. It’s unclear what will happen next season, but it will be no surprise if Butler ends up with the New Orleans Saints.