Patriots Talk: Malcolm Butler’s Dilemma
by Stephen Hilton
So as of yesterday, it has become known that New England Patriots‘ [Cornerback] Malcolm Butler‘s situation has become even more complicated. According to CBS Sports writer, Jason La Confra, that Butler’s agent, Derek Simpson, has been making contact with other NFL teams to demand a possible signing with them.
It would appear that Butler has become aggravated with recent events and wants to get a similar contract to what the Patriots’ gave to former Buffalo Bills‘ [Cornerback] Stephon Gilmore. (Gilmore’s contract is five years, worth sixty-five million with forty million of it guaranteed) It is very unlikely that a deal of that magnitude will be met with Butler still a restricted free agent this off season. However, to have Butler sign with another team he needs to have that said team give up their first round pick as that is what his tender for 2017 is worth and the Patriots’ currently don’t have a first round or second pick because of the amount of trades they have already made in acquiring New Orleans Saints‘ [Wide Receiver] Brandin Cooks and Carolina Panthers‘ [Defensive End] Kony Ealy.
If Butler wants that type of contract, he will unlikely get it with the Patriots, and due to him being restricted he can’t really go to any team unless they are willing to part with their first round pick and paying him a similar contract to Gilmore. All these factors make Butler’s situation way to difficult to have him be signed. Right now, his options are only limited down to signing his first-round tender ( worth around 3.91 million for the 2017 season), which will allow the Patriots to add him onto the trading block. However, until he does sign it, he will not be anywhere but in New England for the time being.
However, if Butler does sign his tender, then his agent and himself can’t do anything from there on. The Patriots will ultimately decide where he will be in 2017, so everything will be on Bill Belichick. Despite what Butler has done for the Patriots, especially with his game winning interception in Super Bowl XLIX, Belichick will not have any tolerance if Butler complains about his situation, he will do what is best for the team.
As of right now, nothing has been signed and only talking points that sources have given about the situation, but nothing solid enough to give us an idea of where the two parties are right now. Only thing we do know is Butler is unhappy with his predicament, which his agent Simpson isn’t seemingly do enough to fix because of Butler being restricted.
My thoughts are that Butler will ultimately need to do the signing of his tender so that trade negotiations can be underway. The Patriots have done a lot in free agency this year but they will still need to draft young talent. I feel that this situation will possibly happen if Butler wants to be traded and get a long term contract done in the near future. Which team he ultimately signs with will be up to the Patriots, they could give him to a team like the Tennessee Titans who just signed Logan Ryan to a three year deal worth 30 million or even the Saints to add more depth to their secondary, (Never count out the Cleveland Browns either) but the reality is Butler has no leverage in this whole ordeal. It’s a shame but that is how the Sports world works and it will keep on turning.