The Butler Deal Has Hit A Stalemate And The Peterson Deal Appears Close To Complete...If You Believe Everything You Hear Before The NFL Draft
PFT- The Saints have shown interest in Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler for some time this offseason and met with him before he signed his restricted free agent tender with New England, but the need to send the 11th overall pick to the Patriots if they signed him to an offer sheet that the Patriots didn’t match was a big obstacle to bringing him to New Orleans.
Now that Butler has signed his tender, the Saints could negotiate different compensation with the Patriots in a trade. The chances of that happening may not be great, however.
Peter King of TheMMQB.com reports that the Saints still have interest, but that the thought of dealing picks for Butler before signing him to a big contract extension “is less attractive than it once seemed.” Per King, the Saints don’t want to deal any of their top three picks (No. 11, No. 32 and No. 42) because they believe they can get immediate contributors at every one of those spots.
I'm not saying I don't believe the reports that are currently coming out. I'm just saying I only trust them as much as I can trust any report that just so happens to come out about 72 hours prior to the complete mayhem. It's very possible that Mickey Loomis and Sean Payton would rather try their luck in a deep draft than trade away an asset for the right to pay a 27 year old cornerback 50 million dollars. It's also possible - albeit reportedly less likely - that the Saints and Patriots are sitting on opposite sides of a smokescreen engaging in a staring contest seeing if anyone blinks before Thursday night. All I am saying is that you don't spend the better part of the offseason negotiating an agreed upon long term deal with someone else's property only to draw an arbitrary deadline prior to the period in which a franchise is most likely to bend on a mutually beneficial transaction.
There is nothing predictable about the NFL Draft, and the results of it could easily change someone's organizational perspective. If the Saints don't like the secondary players made available to them on Day 1 then Malcolm Butler's relative value could easily increase. If Bill Belichick falls in love with some guy who he plans to inevitably turn into an All-Pro then a cornerback on a one year deal who could potentially be disgruntled after coming oh-so-close to cashing a monster check could easily become more expendable.
Personally? I wouldn't think twice about giving up an early second round pick for a proven lockdown defensive back when the twilight of Drew Brees' career is on the horizon. I didn't think the Saints front office would either, but we will find out who is playing what hand by the end of the week. If the worst case scenario is solidifying the running back position with a low risk, high reward athletic freak who has something to prove after being humbled by free agency, and adding three young, affordable playmakers in the top 42 then the worst case scenario ain't too damn shabby.