Breaking down Patriots 2017 schedule and opponents

Breaking down Patriots 2017 schedule and opponents

The season opens on Thursday, September 7 in Foxboro. Here's a look at each of the Patriots' opponents this season and what they've done in the offseason.

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Texans reportedly interested in trading for Butler

Texans reportedly interested in trading for Butler

The Saints aren't the only ones interested in landing Malcolm Butler, it seems. 

According to Yahoo's Eric Edholm, the Texans would be OK with sending a second-round pick to the Patriots in return for the 27-year-old corner. Of course, as we explained in this post breaking down the Butler-to-the-Saints scenarios, Butler would need to sign his first-round tender with the Patriots before he could be traded. 

Would a second-round pick be enough for the Patriots to make a deal? Not if the Saints are willing to part ways with the No. 32 overall pick they received from New England in the Brandin Cooks deal. 

THE MALCOLM BUTLER SAGA

But the most significant piece of this latest report isn't that the Texans -- who lost corner AJ Bouye to the Jaguars via free agency -- are willing to part with a second-rounder for Butler. It's that Houston's interested at all.

With a second team in the mix, there remains the potential for a bit of a bidding war for Butler that would drive up the return for the Patriots in a trade. 

If the Texans are only offering a second-rounder, though, the war may not last all that long.

Browns' trade for Osweiler may be linked to plan for Garoppolo

Browns' trade for Osweiler may be linked to plan for Garoppolo

In a move that could impact the Jimmy Garoppolo sweepstakes, the Browns have traded for Brock Osweiler. Kind of. 

A better way of putting it would be this: In a move that could impact the Jimmy Garoppolo sweepstakes, the Texans have paid the Browns a 2018 second-round pick to take Brock Osweiler. 

Osweiler, who signed a four-year contract worth $72 million last offseason with nearly $37 million guaranteed, had a disastrous season in Houston, getting benched late in the regular season for Tom Savage before reclaiming the starting job ahead of the team’s postseason loss to the Patriots. 

The former Broncos quarterback reportedly might not be long for Cleveland, however, as Jason La Canfora and others reported the team is trying to flip him to another team and could just release him if nothing comes up.  

La Canfora reports that the Browns are intent on getting a 2018 third-round pick, noting that "many" believe the team's intention is to stockpile draft picks and then trade "a bevy" of them to the Pats for Garoppolo.