Malcolm Butler can officially be a part of trade discussions.
There's still a strong possibility that New England could trade Butler during the upcoming 2017 NFL Draft. The Patriots extended an offer sheet to former Buffalo Bills running back Mike Gillislee while Malcolm Butler chose to sign his first-round tender. In fact, I know we're not going to do that. The final pick of round one has been traded two of the past three years as National Football League teams vie for the opportunity to have a player under team control for that additional fifth year.
The Patriots now hold no first or second-round selections in the upcoming draft, but the Saints have shown interest in Butler, brining him in for a visit earlier in free agency.
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This is important because it's an intentional way that the Patriots have built their team in free agency. The one time over the past three years the final pick of round one wasn't traded, it was held by the Patriots.
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At this point, the Patriots have seven picks to work with when the party gets started on April 27. They also traded a sixth-round draft pick to Indianapolis for tight end Dwayne Allen and a second-rounder to Carolina for pass rusher Kony Early.
That would ostensibly make the deal Cooks and a fourth-rounder to the Patriots in exchange for Butler and a third-rounder.