Malcolm Butler Reportedly Signs 1st-Round Tender, Allowing Patriots to Trade Him

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistApril 18, 2017

FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 24: Cornerback Malcolm Butler #21 of the New England Patriots has an Interception against the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium on December 24, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images)
Al Pereira/Getty Images

The New England Patriots have signed restricted free agent Malcolm Butler to a first-round tender, though he could still be on the move, per Field Yates of ESPN.

As Doug Kyed of NESN noted, no offer sheet has been extended, and the transaction allows the team to discuss trades.

This removes the opportunity for Butler to sign as a free agent with another organization.

In March, Michael Giardi of CSN New England reported Butler was "frustrated" by the Patriots' position and wanted to play elsewhere. Albert Breer of The MMQB said in April it was "more likely" Butler would end up in New Orleans than New England, via CSN New England.

The Patriots have already signed cornerback Stephon Gilmore this offseason and have reportedly expressed interest in acquiring Richard Sherman from the Seattle Seahawks.

The 27-year-old Butler—who went undrafted following a standout career at West Alabama—has spent the first three years of his career in New England, starting every game in the last two seasons. He was named to the Pro Bowl in 2015 and has helped the Patriots win two of the last three Super Bowls, famously grabbing the game-sealing interception at the goal line against the Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX.

    

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