Although on the surface it seems like a good thing Butler is signed to his tender, it could mean the end of his time here in New England.
Signing the deal not only increases Butler's salary to $3.91 million next season, but it also allows the Patriots to complete a trade if desired. In fact, I know we're not going to do that.
Butler replaced Revis atop the depth chart the following season and has started all 32 games since. The move ensured that New England would receive a first-round pick as compensation if Butler signed an offer sheet with another team and the Patriots chose not to match.
The bottom line: As if they weren't already, the Patriots will be Super Bowl favorites next year should they keep Butler around.
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While the Patriots and Bill Belichick aren't exactly prone to making splashes, one could be just what this franchise needs to stay on top in 2017. Trading Butler is an obvious way to get that pick back.
New England Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio spoke with the media about the upcoming National Football League draft and answered a question about the team's current needs on the roster.
The Pats now do not pick until the top of the third round (No. 72 overall). But it doesn't preclude the Patriots from keeping him in 2017, either.
Butler was given a first-round tender by the Patriots earlier this offseason, but the two sides could not work out a long-term extension.