Malcolm Butler signs restricted free agent tender with New England

Malcolm Butler signs restricted free agent tender with New England

The New England Patriots' front office just had a busy Tuesday afternoon and it ended with the team potentially acquiring the power running back their offense needed and retaining their shutdown cornerback.

He is now set to make $3.91 million for the 2017 season. Signing the RFA tender was the first step in a trade process that now could accelerate over the next week before the National Football League draft. "If you do bring Malcolm Butler aboard you still expect him to play not only at a Pro Bowl level, but an All Pro level".

Butler visited the New Orleans Saints last month, but they declined to sign him to an offer sheet that could have required them to compensate New England with their first-round draft pick, No. 11 overall.

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As Doug Kyed of NESN noted, no offer sheet has been made, and the transaction allows the team to discuss trades. There's also a decent chance they make a trade before the draft in hopes of getting back into Day 1. The Patriots traded first and third-round picks for Cooks, a second for Ealy, and a fourth for tight end Dwayne Allen.

At this point, the Patriots have seven picks to work with when the party gets started on April 27. A trade of Butler before the 2017 NFL Draft would accelerate the compensation by two years, and it would likely provide better draft compensation.

Today may be the Easter holiday, but for New England Patriots fans, this day has much more significance for a few reasons.

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