Patriots sign Super Bowl hero Butler, may trade him

New England Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler

New England Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler

Malcolm Butler has signed his restricted free agent tender, according to multiple reports, but it remains to be seen whether the star cornerback will stay with the New England Patriots or be traded.

With a signed tender, a trade can now actually happen.

The deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets is Friday. Butler previously would not sign his tender in order to block a potential trade as he was seeking a long-term deal.

The Patriots highest pick in the NFL Draft next week is in round 3, pick 72.

Another scenario is holding on to Butler for this season and pairing him with Gilmore in what would be one of the NFL's better 1-2 combinations. If Buffalo does not decide to match, then New England will have to send over a fifth-round pick as compensation for Gillislee's tender.

The 26-year-old Gillislee is coming off his best year in the National Football League thus far, setting career highs in yards receiving and touchdowns with 577 and nine, respectively. If Buffalo fails to match, the Pats will have two new running backs and likely won't be bringing back LeGarrette Blount or signing Adrian Peterson. This is also the second consecutive year the Patriots have extended an offer sheet to a Bills player, picking up wide receiver Chris Hogan last offseason.

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