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Malcolm Butler visiting Saints Thursday to reportedly talk long-term contract, then trade possible

03.14.17 at 11:35 am ET
Malcolm Butler is visiting the Saints on Thursday. (James Lang/USA Today Sports)

Malcolm Butler is visiting the Saints on Thursday. (James Lang/USA Today Sports)

The Saints’ interest in Malcolm Butler is real.

New Orleans coach Sean Payton told the Associated Press Butler is visiting with the team on Thursday.

Last week it was rumored Butler could be part of a trade involving Brandin Cooks, but he was not included in Friday’s trade.

Butler is a restricted free agent meaning any team that wants him would need to give up a first-round pick given that is the tender the Patriots placed on him, and they would also need to make it a pretty big offer sheet because the Patriots would have the right to match.

It is also possible the Saints and Patriots could work out another trade, one that includes Butler. Keep in mind, the Patriots do not have a first or second-round pick.

This seems like the route which will be taken, as NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reports the Saints and Butler will talk about a long-term deal, and then the Patriots and Saints will try and work out a trade.

The Saints are desperate for help on defense and Butler could be a player to build the defense around.

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