Malcolm Butler, Saints reportedly looking to get deal done
Mar 18 2017 by Marjorie Miles
BillBelichick pulled out some more of his off-season magic last Friday, March 10. For Mike Lombardi, the New Orleans Saints are better off to draft and develop a young cornerback instead of trading away that pick for a 27-year-old Malcolm Butler.
Tight end Matt Lengel and defensive back Brandon King are also exclusive rights free agents while tackle Cameron Fleming joins Butler as a restricted free agent.
However, this offer is ultimately what the Saints accepted.
The Patriots now add that big play ability to a group that already includes Chris Hogan, Malcolm Mitchell, Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola. Yet he hasn't been given the opportunity to shine in his career, being stuck on a team that had missed the playoffs in each of his three seasons.
Now, following his trade from New Orleans to New England last week, those prospects could reach a new level as he prepares to catch passes from another surefire Hall of Famer, quarterback Tom Brady.
It was one of several highlights during a 2016 season in which he appeared in 16 games and caught 78 passes for 1,173 yards and eight touchdowns. He would go on and start one game as a rookie, eventually creating the game-winning turnover in the team's Super Bowl XLIXwin over the Seattle Seahawks.
While Cooks didn't explicitly requested a trade, voicing his frustration certainly alerted teams that he could be available during the offseason. There are rumors, though, that the two-time Super Bowl champion could finalize a deal with the Saints soon. So you would think that they don't really need any help on offense. The Patriots system emphasizes their slot receivers more than most teams. Adding Cooks into the fold gives the Patriots two unsafe pass catchers without having to bank on Gronkowski's health. New Orleans could offer Butler a deal, which New England has the right to match.
Recent reports suggested that there is no urgency between the Saints and Patriots to complete a Butler deal. Cooks said. "But coming to New England it seems like it's an offense that guys do a bunch of different things and I'm looking forward to being able to do some things that I didn't necessarily have to do in New Orleans, hopefully to get the chance here and do it here".