After making headlines on Thursday morning by reportedly signing a top level cornerback, the Patriots were rumored to be exploring a trade involving another member of the team’s secondary.
Malcolm Butler, the hero of Super Bowl XLIX, is apparently on the trade block in a deal that would send Saints receiver Brandin Cooks into Tom Brady’s offense. The report came from ESPN’s Diana Russini:
The New England Patriots are considering trading Malcolm Butler to the New Orleans Saints for Brandin Cooks per sources
— Dianna Russini (@diannaESPN) March 9, 2017
Butler, 27, is a restricted free agent controlled by the Patriots. The team recently placed a first round tender on him, meaning that he would get a one year deal worth $3.91 million if nothing changed (such as the Patriots agreeing to a contract extension), or another team signing him to an offer sheet (which the Patriots could match). Butler would then become an unrestricted free agent after the 2017 season.
Cooks, 23, has one year remaining on his rookie contract (at $1.56 million per season) with an option for 2018.