Roger Goodell did his best last season to avoid the New England Patriots, but that won’t be the case in 2017. As the defending Super Bowl champions, the Patriots have the benefit of hosting the first game of the season, and the NFL commissioner said he will be in attendance on Sept. 7.
Butler was a restricted free agent heading into this offseason, and New England placed a first-round tender on the hero of Super Bowl 49. The Saints need to bolster a secondary that ranked dead last in the NFL last season, and Butler would be a solid addition. But so far, nothing has come of a good visit Butler had with the Saints two weeks ago.
If Butler signs his tender, the Saints could work out a trade with the Patriots. Bill Belichick is typically willing to part ways with almost any player — Tom Brady Cheap Michael Jordan Jerseys For Kids being a reasonable exception — if the price is right.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft may not agree. Kraft said Cheap MLB Jerseys Monday that the intention is not to trade Butler, but Belichick has the final say on personnel decisions.
Payton was noncommittal about the possibility of trading for Butler after he signs his tender.
“That would just be speculation,” Payton said.
The Saints already pulled off one trade with the Patriots this offseason, sending wide receiver Brandin Cooks and a fourth-round pick to New England in exchange for the 32nd overall pick and a third-round selection. If the Saints aren’t willing to part with that No. 11 pick, though, the Patriots may be just as happy to keep Butler in New England next season.