The New Orleans Saints are hosting Patriots restricted free agent Malcolm Butler today and it is being reported that they expect a deal to be finalized before he leaves town according to Ian Rapoport.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 16, 2017
The Saints would certainly be unloading a lot to acquire Butler should the Patriots not match the Saints offer. Aside from the big pay day, the Saints would also have to cough up their #11 pick in this years draft because of the 1st round tender placed on him.
The Patriots could certainly just be waiting in the wings to see what Butler’s value is and they have the cap space to go ahead and match it. This is one option that really hasn’t been talked about at all. The main discussion has been either a Butler trade or being signed away.
The Patriots don’t overpay for players, it’s very possible that they want to see what other teams are willing to pay him before the Patriots open their check book. They just did the same thing with Dont’a Hightower.
The Patriots still have $27 million in cap space available for this upcoming season which is a lot of money and they don’t have too many holes to fill. If the Patriots wanted to front end load Butler on a potential deal, they have the room to do so.