Malcolm Butler will come at a steep price if the New Orleans Saints want to acquire him.
"If Saints want Butler, it would be for their pick, 11th overall. You decide if that trade happens," Michael Lombardi tweeted on Sunday. Lombardi is a former Patriots assistant and current NFL analyst for The Ringer.
Some thought the Saints would try to trade for Butler with the 32nd-overall pick, which the Patriots sent to New Orleans in the trade for Brandin Cooks. However, Butler is a restricted free agent, and has yet to sign his first-round franchise tender, which means the Patriots cannot include him in trade talks, per NFL rules. The Saints will have to place an offer sheet on Butler. If the Patriots elect not to match that offer, Butler would go to New Orleans and the Saints would send their first round pick, the No. 11 selection, to New England.
Butler was in New Orleans visiting the Saints last week, according to NFL Media's Ian Rapoport. They were negotiating a potential contract.
Butler, a three-year veteran, has not missed a game in the last two NFL seasons. In 2016, he had 63 tackles, 17 pass deflections, two fumble recoveries, one forced fumble and one sack.
FOXBORO -- The picture at wide receiver wasn't pretty for the Patriots by the time the clock hit zeros in the fourth quarter in New Orleans over the weekend.
Chris Hogan looked hobbled for much of the second half. Phillip Dorsett left with a knee injury. Danny Amendola was ruled out well in advance of kickoff with a concussion and a knee injury. Matthew Slater was ruled out due to a hamstring injury. Brandin Cooks looked like the only Patriots wideout to finish the game feeling spry.
But as the team prepares for the Texans this week, Dorsett is hoping he'll be back on the field with his teammates for practice.
"I feel good," Dorsett said in the Patriots locker room Monday. "Just a little sore, but I'm alright."
Not only would it help the Patriots offense to have another body available at receiver, but Dorsett understands how crucial it is for him to practice as much as possible. He was acquired in a trade with the Colts just before the season, and he knows he has work to do to get adjusted to his new offense.
"It's just me going out there and getting the plays in practice," Dorsett said when asked about his confidence level in running New England's system. "I feel like practice builds my confidence. If I get to play in practice, I feel more comfortable when it comes to the game."
Dorsett looked comfortable in Week 2, catching three passes for 68 yards. His first grab in the first quarter went for 23 yards and came on a play when Tom Brady, who was hit as he released, threw a floater down the right sideline. Dorsett alertly saw the pass falling short and worked back toward the line of scrimmage to make the catch.
"I think he trusts me," Dorsett said of Brady. "We work a lot during practice and after practice. Hopefully we can continue to gain more trust as the season goes on. It's only the second game. We got a long way to go."
More practice time would be helpful in allowing that relationship to continue to grow. We'll see if Dorsett gets any when the Patriots take the fields behind Gillette Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.
Mike Florio from Pro Football Talk says that Tom Brady won't have a farewell tour because he doesn't want anyone to know when his final year will be.