Patriots reportedly sign CB Malcolm Butler to restricted free agent tender

Butler could not be traded until he signed the tender, which would pay him $3.91 million for the 2017 season. It's no secret that the Saints are looking to improve their secondary, but New England seems unlikely to part with one of their top defensive backs for anything less than a first-round selection.

Malcolm Butler's future with the New England Patriots remains uncertain, but the Pro Bowl cornerback now is officially under contract. Butler wants a long-term contract, and as the Patriots aren't interested in paying him what he thinks he's worth, there have been discussions of a possible trade to a team that would sign Butler to the kind of deal he wants.

The Saints have been searching for help at cornerback for years.

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On whether Garoppolo is "not for sale": "I'd say to answer your question, anything that we do, we're always going to do what we think is in the best interest of our football team and that's how we approach it". It's unclear what they'd be willing to give up for Butler, but they have seven draft picks in 2017 after receiving some when they traded wide receiver Brandin Cooks to the Patriots last month.

He has played in eight postseason games with five starts, and he had an interception at the goal-line that secured the win over Seattle in Super Bowl XLIX.

With the draft just over a week away, there could be more rumors between now and then, but it appears Garoppolo will be spending another season backing up Tom Brady in New England.

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