Patriots Open To Trading Malcolm Butler
The PatriotsÂ remainÂ willing to move cornerbackÂ Malcolm Butler, Jason La Canfora of CBSSports. com (Twitter link) hears. JLCÂ goes on to speculate that the Pats could package the second-round pick they acquired from the Niners in the Jimmy Garoppolo blockbuster to bring home a quality player. Â
[RELATED: Patriots Trade QB Jimmy Garoppolo To 49ers]
Butler, 27, is headed for free agency after the 2017 season. The Patriots, unwilling to commit to him this summer, shopped him hard and nearly sent him to the Saints. Butler is back to playing quality football after a shaky start to the season, but the Patriots are in in the same place â? they need to think hard about moving the cornerback if they are unwilling to commit serious dollars to him in March.
The Garoppolo deal could spurÂ Bill BelichickÂ & Co. to package Butler with their draft capital for something better, as La Canfora suggested, but Mondayâs deal could have the opposite effect on potential Butler talks. Â Before the trade, the Patriots were seemingly on course to re-sign or franchise tag Garoppolo for a lot of money. Â With the young QB out of the equation, there should be more money available to lock up Butler, if thatâs what they want to do.
As of this writing, Butler is Pro Football Focusâ? No. 31 ranked cornerback in the NFL. He was ranked No. 7 in 2016.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.