dglobalnews.com Patriots sign Super Bowl hero Butler, may trade him
Published: Thu, April 20, 2017
National | By Glenda Ortiz

Patriots sign Super Bowl hero Butler, may trade him

Patriots sign Super Bowl hero Butler, may trade him

The New Orleans Saints and New England Patriots, if they so choose, can officially discuss trade terms for cornerback Malcolm Butler.

The Patriots don't have a 2017 draft pick until early in the third round (No. 72 overall).

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Not only that, but New England's secondary would be poised to be one of the stronger units in the National Football League with Butler as well as fellow Pro Bowlers Devin McCourty and newcomer Stephon Gilmore. He visited with just one team, the Saints, during free agency.

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The New England Patriots took care of their two most recent Super Bowl heroes on Tuesday. How quickly those positions come off the board will determine how aggressive the Patriots become with their trade chips. Pass rushers Jordan Willis of Kansas State and Derek Rivers of Youngstown State fit the mold and would be ideal replacements for Jabaal Sheard.

The bottom line: As if they weren't already, the Patriots will be Super Bowl favorites next year should they keep Butler around. But it doesn't preclude the Patriots from keeping him in 2017, either.

Instead, the Patriots gave the money to free agent Bills cornerback Stephon Gilmore, a 2012 first-round draft pick who made the Pro Bowl last season after recording 48 tackles and a career-high five interceptions. However, if the right offer is on the table, look for Belichick to pounce. A trade of Butler before the 2017 NFL Draft would accelerate the compensation by two years, and it would likely provide better draft compensation.

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