2017 Butler Watch: Love Me Tender

BigSoxFan

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Cooks may end up being very necessary. Edelman turns 31 in May and is a FA after this season. Amendola is also old and probably in his last go round. I think Cooks represents a huge upgrade at a position that is probably 1 year away from needing it.
 

Red Averages

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It's ridiculous and probable, which stinks. If this were a straight-up Butler-for-Cooks swap, I wouldn't like it - a talented CB for an unnecessary, but very talented WR is poor value - and this compensation is worse than that. Combine that with the fact that Butler, by all accounts I've read, was frustrated last year but didn't let it get in the way, and has said to be willing to focus and be a good soldier in 2017, and I REALLY don't understand why BB would be willing to settle for less.
Perhaps BB has more information than you have.
 

H78

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It's ridiculous and probable, which stinks. If this were a straight-up Butler-for-Cooks swap, I wouldn't like it - a talented CB for an unnecessary, but very talented WR is poor value - and this compensation is worse than that. Combine that with the fact that Butler, by all accounts I've read, was frustrated last year but didn't let it get in the way, and has said to be willing to focus and be a good soldier in 2017, and I REALLY don't understand why BB would be willing to settle for less.
Totally agreed.

No way you give Butler up for less than a 1st. He's one of the premier cornerbacks in the league and he's very, very affordable in 2017.

If the Saints are having second thoughts and they're only willing to trade picks lower than 32, just keep Butler opposite Gilmore and shut every quarterback down in 2017.

I suspect on draft day there may be another team (or several teams) that reach out to the Patriots about Butler. A lot of teams drafting in the mid-to-late first round need help at CB right now.
 

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Totally agreed.

No way you give Butler up for less than a 1st. He's one of the premier cornerbacks in the league and he's very, very affordable in 2017.

If the Saints are having second thoughts and they're only willing to trade picks lower than 32, just keep Butler opposite Gilmore and shut every quarterback down in 2017.

I suspect on draft day there may be another team (or several teams) that reach out to the Patriots about Butler. A lot of teams drafting in the mid-to-late first round need help at CB right now.
I agree with the thrust of this...if BB believes that Butler would be a positive force on the team in 2017.

It's true that Butler is not likely to free lance, and that he played exceptionally well last year even while being pissed off, but perhaps Bill worries that over time things will deteriorate and/or that having a disgruntled player around could somehow infect other players, particularly younger guys.
 

Stitch01

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The consensus view of Jamie Collins up until the day he was traded was that he was, at least, one of the most important players to the 2016 Patriots defense. The consensus view on Dominique Easley right up until the day he was released was that he was a talented pass rusher who was fitting in well with the Patriots.

So I dont have a high degree of confidence that we have the inside scoop here.

Im hoping the Pats and Butler make it work, but just gonna repeat what I said after the Collins trade (which clearly looked like bad value) personally pretty hard for me to criticize given 1) BB pretty much always gets these decisions with his own players right and 2) Im not inside the locker room, have no idea how to judge whether the situation is workable, and I have no real insight into Butler's long-term contract demands (although with the Gilmore signing, decent chance that ship has sailed).

Thats not to say BB is definitely right if he moves Butler, but just hard for me to first guess given track record and the information we have.
 

dbn

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We don't know that Butler would play 2017 for the Patriots as focused as ever, and the talking head don't know that he would lead to another Jamie Collins situation. It's an known unknown.
 

Rusty13

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Ian Rapoport‏Verified account @RapSheet 2m2 minutes ago
Ian Rapoport Retweeted Around The NFL

#Saints & Butler have a multi-year deal agreed to, pending trade. At this point, trade appears unlikely from all sides.
So this basically means they have a verbal agreement or agreement in principle contingent on a trade? Sounds like a lot of work left to do. Worse comes to worst at least he is officially Pats property for the 2017 season. Only issue will be if he holds out, which I tend to doubt.
 

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Sure sounds like it's coming out of NO.
They seem to be messaging through Peter King as well. Latest from PFT:

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2017/04/24/report-malcolm-butler-trade-less-attractive-to-saints/

They are right to value those picks highly with all their needs. I'd rather pick two corners with 11 and 32, or a corner and safety, than give up either of them and give Butler the contract he wants.

But if they are not going to part with #42, I'm doubtful that there is any business to be done. That would be theft.
 

bakahump

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Wait, what?

Saints and Butler have Multi Year Deal agreed to. OK Good.
Pending Trade. Gotcha
Trade appears UNlikely from all sides. HUH?

At worst it should be "Pats still seem to be looking for more compensation before they agree".
How can the Saints think its unlikely if they have gone to the trouble of agreeing to a LT Deal/pending trade.
Basically, they are motivated and seemingly still want this.

Pats seem ambivalent right now, but isnt that the preferred negotiating stance?

This just doesnt make sense to me unless you are assuming that the saints basically said "Yea surrrrre Malcolm, How about 4 years 60 million, We just need to finalize the trade, we'll let you know. <aside> Yea screw that lets look at the draft."

Doesnt seem like a great way to endear yourself to FAs.
 

bankshot1

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With the recent flurry of the "the Saints won't give up the #32 pick" is there any news coming out of Foxboro what the Pats see as minimum return to move Malcolm? ie We need the 32 or we need the 42 plus the 103 back, or?

This just sounds like NO negotiating in the press.
 

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This will either come to fruition or fall apart on day 2 of the draft (Friday). We are close enough now that both sides undoubtedly have specific players they are targeting at #42 (and at every pick, for that matter). If that player(s) is available to the Saints. they'll probably take him and move on. If not, they will call NE at the last minute and see if a deal can get done, which will depend on if NE's player(s) is available or not.

Abstract pics become less valuable right before the draft, while specific players become more valuable.
 

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In unrelated news, I have a marriage agreement with Mila Kunis in principle, just awaiting the details of negotiating a wife-swap with Ashton Kutcher. Barring any hold-out by my wife, too, of course. But really, it's just around the corner!
 

dcmissle

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This will either come to fruition or fall apart on day 2 of the draft (Friday). We are close enough now that both sides undoubtedly have specific players they are targeting at #42 (and at every pick, for that matter). If that player(s) is available to the Saints. they'll probably take him and move on. If not, they will call NE at the last minute and see if a deal can get done, which will depend on if NE's player(s) is available or not.

Abstract pics become less valuable right before the draft, while specific players become more valuable.
Good point re timing. Talking about #42 in the abstract is one thing. Talking about it in real time based on who is left may be another entirely.
 

reggiecleveland

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In unrelated news, I have a marriage agreement with Mila Kunis in principle, just awaiting the details of negotiating a wife-swap with Ashton Kutcher. Barring any hold-out by my wife, too, of course. But really, it's just around the corner!
weak

In the NFL examples both sides have something the other side wants, and have been talking to each other. You have nothing AK or MK want.
 

InstaFace

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what's weak was Rapoport's tweet, which buried the lede ("it's unlikely") behind a whole bunch of other random facts that made it sound likely, just for the sake of having something to report.

I could have gone with "House Freedom Caucus and Paul Ryan are close to a budget deal" or some other crap, but that wouldn't have stoked my fantasies nearly as well. Besides, Mila's a big baseball fan, we'll go catch a game and eat hot dogs together, it'll be awesome...

...I'll be back in a bit...
 

RedOctober3829

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I can't believe the Saints went through all the trouble of hosting Butler and negotiating a contract for him and yet aren't willing to give up the draft capital. It's almost like they didn't think the Patriots were going to hold them over a barrel and demand proper compensation for a player of Butler's caliber. At this time this is different than the Jamie Collins situation. Butler has actually proven he's top 5 at his position and he has a full year of control. It was apparent Collins wasn't putting up the effort and was causing problems. Belichick cashed in what he could in order to just get rid of the problem. The risk the Patriots are taking is that Butler causes those same problems into the season as he's worried an injury could cost him the big payday. I don't see that happening with Butler, but maybe I'm wearing Patriots-colored glasses. I just think Butler is wired differently than Collins.
 

Thetoddwalker

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Saw this on a Saints board.

Jeff Howe? @jeffphowe 18m18 minutes ago
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Malcolm Butler may have to wait a year for a massive payday if Saints don't strike. Butler, Saints had a deal in place worth more than $50M.
 

RedOctober3829

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As momentum appears to be shifting with Malcolm Butler's situation, it's still difficult to decipher if a potential trade is dead or if the Patriots and Saints are posturing in the days before the draft.

Here's what we know. Butler and the Saints have had a deal in place worth north of $50 million, contingent upon the execution of a trade between the Pats and Saints, according to sources. The Saints were never going to sign Butler to an offer sheet because it would have cost them the No. 11 pick in the draft.

From there, the Saints have picks at Nos. 32, 42 and 76. It remains unclear how much the Saints would be willing to surrender to pry Butler from the Patriots, or how much the Patriots would require to send Butler to the Saints. Obviously, with the two teams having the chance to negotiate over the weekend, they haven't found a resolution.

The Saints don't want to give up a high pick (or a combination of high picks) and the huge contract for Butler, particularly with cornerback Delvin Breaux set to be a restricted free agent after the 2017 season. On the other side of the table, the Patriots don't want to give up a quality cornerback for less-than-fair compensation when he is on the books for $3.91 million in 2017 and would help them field one of the best defensive backfields in the NFL.

The reason the Patriots have been willing to trade Butler is because it'll be challenging to sign him to a contract extension before he hits unrestricted free agency next spring. That task was made all the more difficult last month when they signed cornerback Stephon Gilmore to a five-year, $65 million pact worth $40 million guaranteed. At this point in the process, it's unlikely Butler would take less than that from the Patriots, even if he'd take less from another team. That's the business element Butler and the Patriots have encountered after failed negotiations over the past year, as well as the Gilmore deal.

http://www.bostonherald.com/sports/patriots/the_blitz/2017/04/its_possible_the_patriots_will_keep_malcolm_butler_in_2017_after
 

dcmissle

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I can't believe the Saints went through all the trouble of hosting Butler and negotiating a contract for him and yet aren't willing to give up the draft capital. It's almost like they didn't think the Patriots were going to hold them over a barrel and demand proper compensation for a player of Butler's caliber. At this time this is different than the Jamie Collins situation. Butler has actually proven he's top 5 at his position and he has a full year of control. It was apparent Collins wasn't putting up the effort and was causing problems. Belichick cashed in what he could in order to just get rid of the problem. The risk the Patriots are taking is that Butler causes those same problems into the season as he's worried an injury could cost him the big payday. I don't see that happening with Butler, but maybe I'm wearing Patriots-colored glasses. I just think Butler is wired differently than Collins.
I think Saints have played this well, as has Butler. If he has agreed to a contract, Butler psychologically is out the door.

But the Saints should be wary of overplaying their hand. If they are willing to part with 42, they ought to do it before late Thursday.
 

pappymojo

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As momentum appears to be shifting with Malcolm Butler's situation, it's still difficult to decipher if a potential trade is dead or if the Patriots and Saints are posturing in the days before the draft.

Here's what we know. Butler and the Saints have had a deal in place worth north of $50 million, contingent upon the execution of a trade between the Pats and Saints, according to sources. The Saints were never going to sign Butler to an offer sheet because it would have cost them the No. 11 pick in the draft.

From there, the Saints have picks at Nos. 32, 42 and 76. It remains unclear how much the Saints would be willing to surrender to pry Butler from the Patriots, or how much the Patriots would require to send Butler to the Saints. Obviously, with the two teams having the chance to negotiate over the weekend, they haven't found a resolution.

The Saints don't want to give up a high pick (or a combination of high picks) and the huge contract for Butler, particularly with cornerback Delvin Breaux set to be a restricted free agent after the 2017 season. On the other side of the table, the Patriots don't want to give up a quality cornerback for less-than-fair compensation when he is on the books for $3.91 million in 2017 and would help them field one of the best defensive backfields in the NFL.

The reason the Patriots have been willing to trade Butler is because it'll be challenging to sign him to a contract extension before he hits unrestricted free agency next spring. That task was made all the more difficult last month when they signed cornerback Stephon Gilmore to a five-year, $65 million pact worth $40 million guaranteed. At this point in the process, it's unlikely Butler would take less than that from the Patriots, even if he'd take less from another team. That's the business element Butler and the Patriots have encountered after failed negotiations over the past year, as well as the Gilmore deal.

http://www.bostonherald.com/sports/patriots/the_blitz/2017/04/its_possible_the_patriots_will_keep_malcolm_butler_in_2017_after
I love how Howe starts with "Here's what we know" and then fills the article with a bunch of speculation.
 

koufax32

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Through all of this I am glad for one thing: it seems like BB has realized the value of having a true top end CB is much higher than he thought several years ago. His preemptive pounce on Gilmore lends me to think he believes replacing Butler is an absolute necessity.
 

knucklebird

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Does Brees and his 'window' play into this at all? Win now has been a Saints theme with Drew aging. How does this play in NOLA if the Saints are seen as penny-pinching when they can land a top-5 corner to help them win? I have to believe they are posturing but that this gets done by the draft.
 

CCR

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I didn't see this mentioned earlier in the thread so apologies if it has already been brought up - La Canfora tweeted earlier today that the Saints are one of the teams who are interested in moving out of the top third of the draft. So perhaps the Pats are asking for something better than 32 for Butler (but 11 is off the table) and the Saints are trying to trade 11 for a lower pick in the first round to trade to the Pats or they're looking to accumulate additional picks in other rounds to package for Butler in addition to 32 or 42.

 

bakahump

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Sure would be nice to still have had their 2nd Rounder. The Pats then could make up the difference of say 22 to 11 easily enough.
 

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Does Brees and his 'window' play into this at all? Win now has been a Saints theme with Drew aging. How does this play in NOLA if the Saints are seen as penny-pinching when they can land a top-5 corner to help them win? I have to believe they are posturing but that this gets done by the draft.
I'm no expert, but CB may not be the Saints' greatest area of need, whereas in the draft's first round, in theory, good help is available everywhere.
 

Curt S Loew

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I still see a trade going down in the next few hours. I just don't see all that smoke without a fire. Maybe Payton and Bill agreed to wait until right up until close to the draft. Maybe I'm totally wrong(which is more likely).
 

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Through all of this I am glad for one thing: it seems like BB has realized the value of having a true top end CB is much higher than he thought several years ago. His preemptive pounce on Gilmore lends me to think he believes replacing Butler is an absolute necessity.
This may have already been said, but it seems like Gilmore and Cooks are players they'd need for 2018 and beyond, but they were available now so they got them now. Someone might offer Butler 4 or 5 years next year's and maybe BB won't go passed 3. So 2017 we're stacked at CB, and BB has two offseasons to find a normal #2 CB. For Cooks, Amendola and Edelman are getting up there.
 
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The consensus view of Jamie Collins up until the day he was traded was that he was, at least, one of the most important players to the 2016 Patriots defense. .
That was definitely the consensus view going into the 2016 season, but there was an awful lot of talk the first handful of games that he looked terrible.
 

Super Nomario

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That was definitely the consensus view going into the 2016 season, but there was an awful lot of talk the first handful of games that he looked terrible.
Only from Mike Lombardi, really. And Collins' game against Houston was one of the best he played in a Patriots uniform - he was everywhere with Hightower out.

99% of the negative Collins stuff came out after the trade.
 

NortheasternPJ

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Only from Mike Lombardi, really. And Collins' game against Houston was one of the best he played in a Patriots uniform - he was everywhere with Hightower out.

99% of the negative Collins stuff came out after the trade.
Outside of the Houston game there was enough conversation about why he was invisible other weeks if he can do that. There was also the stain of the Denver AFCC where he got smoked twice by an 85 year old TE.

I do agree the really negative stuff like freelancing etc. was all done post-trade.
 

pappymojo

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So, with the Saints drafting Lattimore, does that squash the idea that they would sign Butler to a $50 million dollar contract next year? Or more to the point, does that draft pick incentivize Butler to sign an extension with the Patriots this year?
 

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So, with the Saints drafting Lattimore, does that squash the idea that they would sign Butler to a $50 million dollar contract next year? Or more to the point, does that draft pick incentivize Butler to sign an extension with the Patriots this year?
There's 30 other teams that might have interest when a first round draft pick isn't included in the cost. I highly doubt it changes Butler's mindset regarding an extension.
 

tims4wins

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There's 30 other teams that might have interest when a first round draft pick isn't included in the cost. I highly doubt it changes Butler's mindset regarding an extension.
Yeah at this point Butler has to take this to UFA. I think he will realize in UFA that he isn't going to get paid like Gilmore, but he has to see that for himself.

I wonder if the Pats offered a 3 year, $30M contract (ripping up 2017), if he would take it - with the caveat that it was at least $25M guaranteed, or maybe fully guaranteed. Win-win for both sides IMO
 

RedOctober3829

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FWIW from Albert Breer. Interesting that the Pats reportedly didn't want the 1st. Have to figure that they didn't want to pay the 5th year option on the 1st rounder so the 2nd rounder+ is better value.

Albert Breer‏Verified account @AlbertBreer 14s14 seconds ago
Replying to @AlbertBreer
10) With Lattimore in NOLA, Malcolm Butler deal is probably dead. But worth mentioning: Pats didn’t want 32. They wanted 42 + another pick.
 

GammonsSpecialPerson

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99% of the negative Collins stuff came out after the trade.
The Buffalo game thread would beg to differ.

For sure, no one who gets paid to cover the team had a clue but Reiss noting the snap count weirdness accounts for the 1% or maybe even a little more.

It never made sense for New Orleans - who traded Cooks, in part, because they didn't want to pay a bonus - to move picks and pay Butler a ton of money. Getting the draft's best corner proves NO did the right thing.
 

Super Nomario

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The Buffalo game thread would beg to differ.
I checked - Collins was mentioned once in the game thread, not at all individually in the goat thread, though plenty of vitriol for the front seven and defense in general. Hightower got called out way more.

For sure, no one who gets paid to cover the team had a clue but Reiss noting the snap count weirdness accounts for the 1% or maybe even a little more.
OK, that's fair - we'll call it 2%.
 

dcmissle

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FWIW from Albert Breer. Interesting that the Pats reportedly didn't want the 1st. Have to figure that they didn't want to pay the 5th year option on the 1st rounder so the 2nd rounder+ is better value.

Albert Breer‏Verified account @AlbertBreer 14s14 seconds ago
Replying to @AlbertBreer
10) With Lattimore in NOLA, Malcolm Butler deal is probably dead. But worth mentioning: Pats didn’t want 32. They wanted 42 + another pick.
The draft fell right for the Saints, so they won their bet. I'd rather have these picks, use the 11 on Lattimore, and pay him an estimated $15 including $9 MM signing bonus than pay Malcom Butler $50 million.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jasonbelzer/2017/04/28/2017-nfl-draft-1st-round-rookie-salary-projections/#78f83f826f04
 

RedOctober3829

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Stitch01

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I hope that isn't true because if the Pats are willing to do that deal then I'd suspect they've made the decision to cut bait like they did with Collins and Butler might be shipped out for less later if the market isn't there.
 

H78

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A cost-controlled Butler plus #32 for Cooks and pick #42 would feel like a slight win for NO.

Cooks is the very definition of luxury, and keeping Butler would have negated needing to sign (and devote $40m guaranteed) to Gilmore, who's unproven in our system and arguably the lesser cornerback.

Doesn't make sense to me.
 

Stitch01

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I suspect by their action that the Pats value all three players differently than you do. Doesn't make them correct, but its fairly easy to understand what they are doing if they think Gillmore is better than Butler, think Butler won't sign long term, and think Cooks isn't a luxury but a long term building block for the offense