The New England Patriots appear unlikely to trade cornerback Malcolm Butler this offseason.
Butler, who was a restricted free agent, could not be traded until he signed the $3.91 million tender last week for the 2017 season. He visited with just one team, the New Orleans Saints, during free agency.\
Peter King of TheMMQB.com reported Monday that the Saints still have interest in the cornerback but "the thought of dealing one or more picks for Butler, then paying him a huge contract, is less attractive than it once seemed."
The Saints have picks 11, 32, 42, 76 and 103 in the first three rounds of the 2017 draft, which will be held Thursday through Saturday in Philadelphia.
Butler previously did not sign his tender in hopes that another NFL team might sign him to an offer sheet before last Friday's deadline. It is now highly unlikely Butler will be traded, sources confirmed to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Saints coach Sean Payton said at the NFL meetings last month the team plans to add two cornerbacks this offseason and showed his interest in the 27-year-old Butler after the visit.
Butler has played in 43 regular-season games with 33 starts, including starting all 16 games in each of the last two seasons for the Patriots. He has six career interceptions and 36 passes defensed in three seasons.
Butler has played in eight postseason games with five starts, and he made an interception at the goal-line that secured the win over the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX.
He was named to the Pro Bowl following the 2015 season.
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