It Is What It Is
NEED TO KNOW
Follow WEEI.com football writer Ryan Hannable at twitter.com/RyanHannable. In addition, get the latest WEEI.com updates at twitter.com/WEEI.
A WEEI.com Patriots Blog
WEEI.com Blog Network
Posts related to ‘Malcolm Butler’
Sunday 7: Malcolm Butler’s situation is worth monitoring 05.07.17 at 6:00 am ET
By   |  Comments Off on Sunday 7: Malcolm Butler’s situation is worth monitoring
Keep a close eye on Malcolm Butler. (Michael Madrid/USA Today Sports)

Keep a close eye on Malcolm Butler. (Michael Madrid/USA Today Sports)

1. We touched on this briefly last week, but it’s worth reiterating. Even though it appears Malcolm Butler will be playing for the Patriots in 2017, it doesn’t mean everything is all well and good. As CSNNE’s Mike Giardi, who has been all over the Butler situation from the outset pointed out, just because he resumed working out with the Patriots this week during OTAs doesn’t mean he’s necessarily happy. Butler hasn’t been too thrilled with the Patriots since they signed cornerback Stephon Gilmore to a five-year, $65 million deal at the start of free agency. He wanted out of New England and even visited the Saints as a restricted free agent, but the Saints didn’t sign him to an offer sheet and the Patriots and Saints couldn’t come to an agreement on a trade. This is why he reported to Gillette Stadium this past week — he had no choice. He’s in all likelihood playing for the Patriots in 2017, so what else would he do? It’s important to realize just because he’s back with his teammates, it doesn’t mean he’s changed his view on what has taken place this offseason. He’s now in a position to play the year out and become an unrestricted free agent after the season, but even this is something to keep an eye on. For the past two seasons Butler has been the No. 1 corner in New England, but now that belongs to Gilmore. It’s also worth considering since the Patriots will be going up against a number of big receiving teams this year, maybe Butler gets asked to play the slot with Gilmore and Eric Rowe, who is bigger than Butler, on the outside. Butler’s situation is worth monitoring because if he isn’t playing the way he wants and that turns into internal issues with being upset, Bill Belichick could do what he did with Jamie Collins last year and trade him out of town before he becomes an unrestricted free agent after the season. This isn’t to say he won’t play the year with no issues, it’s just something to keep an eye on.

2. A lot of the Patriots draft attention is going to their first selection in Derek Rivers, but don’t sleep on fourth-round pick Deatrich Wise out of Arkansas. Wise battled shoulder and hand injuries during much of his senior season so he didn’t put up the best of numbers. Wise’s best year came as a junior at Arkansas when he finished with eight sacks (all in conference play), which led the SEC. Also, he tied for 10th nationally in sacks per game against ranked opponents (1.13). He’s also very close with Patriots defensive end Trey Flowers, so maybe working along side Flowers could get Wise back to his 2015-self and big things could be coming for the rookie defensive end.

3. Rivers comes from Youngstown State where he was coached by Bo Pelini, who was the Patriots’ linebackers coach from 1997-99. Pelini has many of the same values as Belichick so Rivers is already fairly familiar with the “Patriot Way.” “It’s all culture,” he told reporters Thursday at Gillette Stadium when he was introduced to the media. “It’s a culture and it’s a mindset. I think they definitely bring that. That’s what ‘Patriots’ way’ means – just blue-collar hard work. We’re going to get after it each and every day. We’re going to go hard. That’s what Bo brought – that same type of culture, that same type of attitude.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Deatrich Wise, Derek Rivers, Malcolm Butler, Mike Gillislee
Malcolm Butler reportedly joins Patriots for offseason workouts 05.03.17 at 11:10 am ET
By   |  Comments Off on Malcolm Butler reportedly joins Patriots for offseason workouts
Malcolm Butler reportedly is working out with the Patriots. (Michael Madrid/USA Today Sports)

Malcolm Butler reportedly is working out with the Patriots. (Michael Madrid/USA Today Sports)

It looks like Malcolm Butler has come to terms with playing for the Patriots in 2017.

According to ESPN’s Field Yates, Butler has joined the Patriots at Gillette Stadium for their offseason workouts this week. Prior to the draft, he was not working out with the team.

Butler likely was holding out some hope that he would be traded around the draft, but now that it has passed, it seems almost a certainty he will be playing for the Patriots in 2017 as he likely won’t be traded.

The cornerback will be playing for $3.91 million this season, which was the reason why he was upset this offseason. The 27-year-old wanted to be paid like an unrestricted free agent and did not like the Patriots signing cornerback Stephon Gilmore to a five-year, $65 million contract. As a restricted free agent, he visited the Saints, but the two teams could not agree on a trade, and then New Orleans drafted Marshon Lattimore No. 11 overall in the draft.

Butler will be an unrestricted free agent after the season.

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

Read More: Malcolm Butler,
Sunday 7: Patriots 2017 draft will be defined by veterans Brandin Cooks, Kony Ealy, Mike Gillislee 04.30.17 at 6:00 am ET
By   |  Comments Off on Sunday 7: Patriots 2017 draft will be defined by veterans Brandin Cooks, Kony Ealy, Mike Gillislee
Brandin Cooks will play a role in the legacy of the Patriots 2017 draft. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

Brandin Cooks will play a role in the legacy of the Patriots 2017 draft. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

1. While the Patriots made four picks over the weekend in the NFL draft, their draft really began during free agency when they traded their first-round pick for Brandin Cooks, second-round pick for Kony Ealy and fourth-round pick for Dwayne Allen. Then, just last week they signed Mike Gillislee as a restricted free agent meaning they had to give up their fifth-round pick. “I feel like overall our opportunity in this draft started a couple of months ago,” Bill Belichick said Friday night. “The four players that we acquired already are also part of the draft process. Hopefully we’ve been able to improve our team, become more competitive. That’s the ultimate goal.” A big theme of the weekend was saying Cooks was their first-round pick, Ealy their second-round pick, etc. While it may seem that way, it isn’t exactly the case. These players are only under team control for two seasons, where as rookies are under contract for five seasons. This is an important distinction that needs to be made, as it gives proper context. This approach seems to have worked this year because of how the roster was already in pretty good shape for the future, and the team had a ton of cap space this offseason. Trading picks for players doesn’t work every year, but is a great benefit when used appropriately. Drafts usually don’t get a true grade until three or four years after they occur, but for the 2017 Patriots, their draft will be defined by how Cooks, Ealy and Gillislee do in New England over the next two seasons — any anything that Derek Rivers (third round), Antonio Garcia (third round), Deatrich Wise (fourth round) and Conor McDermott (sixth round) do would only be gravy.

2. Of the four players the Patriots selected, it’s almost guaranteed the first three — Rivers (third round), Garcia (third round) and Wise (fourth round) — will make the final 53-man roster. Every player Belichick has selected in the third or fourth round, if healthy, has made the initial roster. With Wise’s selection, a player like Geneo Grissom’s spot on the roster is in danger. Garcia could potentially replace LaAdrian Waddle and it would seem Rivers will not impact anyone. It’s not even the end of April and by our count the Patriots already have close to 50 players locked in for the initial 53-man roster.

3. With Malcolm Butler still being on the Patriots roster as the draft has now passed, it is almost a guarantee he plays 2017 with the Patriots for $3.91 million. This will be something to watch as it unfolds to see his mindset. Clearly, he was upset by how the offseason went, especially with the Patriots giving Stephon Gilmore $65 million. This isn’t to suggest he could be like Jamie Collins reportedly was last season before he was traded to the Browns, but his attitude is something to watch. It’s also worth keeping in mind he may be asked to play in the slot some with Gilmore and Eric Rowe on the outside. Being an unrestricted free agent after the season, playing in the slot might not be something he wants to do. Butler has had a great attitude since coming into the league as an undrafted rookie in 2014, but that will be put to the test this season.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: 2017 nfl draft, Brandin Cooks, Jimmy Garoppolo, Malcolm Butler
Saints GM Mickey Loomis: We haven’t talked about Malcolm Butler in quite some time 04.26.17 at 12:17 pm ET
By   |  Comments Off on Saints GM Mickey Loomis: We haven’t talked about Malcolm Butler in quite some time
Don't expect Malcolm Butler to be going anywhere. (Michael Madrid/USA Today Sports)

Don’t expect Malcolm Butler to be going anywhere. (Michael Madrid/USA Today Sports)

On Monday, NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported it didn’t seem like the Patriots and Saints would be able to work out a trade for Malcolm Butler, and speaking at a pre-draft press conference Wednesday, Saints general manager Mickey Loomis seemed to back that report up.

“We haven’t really had any discussions for quite some time, and look, he’s their player,” Loomis told reporters. “So, we’ll see how that evolves.”

The Saints certainly are in the market for a cornerback, but they have five picks in the first three rounds.

The cornerback class is said to be very deep, so they could get their cornerback by going that route. This might make more sense than giving up a package to the Patriots for Butler when they could just draft a good player and not give anything up at all.

While certainly things could change as the draft unfolds, for now it appears Butler will be playing 2017 in New England.

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

Read More: Malcolm Butler,
Report: Even with long-term deal with Saints agreed upon, Malcolm Butler likely staying with Patriots 04.24.17 at 10:48 am ET
By   |  Comments Off on Report: Even with long-term deal with Saints agreed upon, Malcolm Butler likely staying with Patriots
Don't expect Malcolm Butler to be going anywhere. (Michael Madrid/USA Today Sports)

Don’t expect Malcolm Butler to be going anywhere. (Michael Madrid/USA Today Sports)

The Patriots will likely have one of the best cornerback duos in the league next season.

According to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, the Saints and Butler have agreed on a long-term contract that would make him among the highest-paid cornerbacks in the game, but all sides believe a trade is improbable at this point. The Patriots are said to be wanting more than the Saints are willing to give up.

Butler will now likely team up with Stephon Gilmore as the two corners in the Patriots secondary.

The 27-year-old visited the Saints as a restricted free agent, but the Patriots control his rights since he signed his tender and thus control where he goes.

Of course it’s still possible a deal happens if the Patriots lower their demands or the Saints change what they are offering, but at this point it doesn’t seem like a deal will be happening.

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

Read More: Malcolm Butler,
Sunday 7: Why are Patriots spending so much time with projected 1st, 2nd-round picks? 04.23.17 at 6:00 am ET
By   |  Comments Off on Sunday 7: Why are Patriots spending so much time with projected 1st, 2nd-round picks?
Bill Belichick and the Patriots have been connected to a number of projected high draft picks. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

Bill Belichick and the Patriots have been connected to a number of projected high draft picks. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

1. Ever since the NFL combine, the Patriots have been connected to a number of top players in the NFL draft. Whether it’s been meetings at the combine, pro days, and even private visits, the Patriots have been around a number of potential first and second-round picks. This is noteworthy considering the team doesn’t have a selection until No. 72 overall. As we wrote about last week, this could be the team is planning on trading into the first or second round, most likely because of a trade of Malcolm Butler, but what if they don’t? There could be another reason for these connections — future knowledge. Look at two players the Patriots traded for this offseason — Brandin Cooks and Kony Ealy. While the Patriots didn’t draft them, their pre-draft meetings with them helped with the decision to trade for them years after they were drafted by other teams. “It’s a great resource,” director of player personnel Nick Caserio said at his pre-draft press conference last week. “We rely a lot on that information which is why even though the college process you may be going through and thinking ‘It’s not really integral to this particular player,’ well at some point it’s going to be when we build our database. We have a database of just about every player that’s in the league. So as soon as they go from college to pro all that information transfers over from the college system. So we have all the interviews, all the workouts, all of our grades, all of our background information that we have. So we kind of go back and say ‘OK, let’s look at that information. What did we say coming out? What was the information like?’” Perhaps, all these meetings are just for future knowledge and not this year’s draft. We’ll find out this week.

2. Speaking of Butler, it appears the Patriots are still making efforts to trade him. According to CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora, the Patriots and Saints are expected to continue exploring a deal, but might not be able to agree on compensation. This appears to be a case of the Patriots wanting more in return than the Saints are willing to give. The Saints have picks No. 11 and No. 32 (New England’s which they got for Cooks), which the Patriots are said to be after. One scenario is the Patriots want pick No. 32 and another pick(s), and the Saints just want to part ways with the one pick, or maybe don’t want to part ways with the first-round pick at all. It really is hard to predict what is going to happen considering all the chatter there was last month and now silence, but it would be a big surprise to see the Patriots not pick in the first or second round.

3. The biggest takeaway from Caserio’s pre-draft press conference was the Patriots only have 50-75 players on their draft board. “I’d say it varies year to year,” he said. “I would say our draft board is smaller than most. We are trying to find players that we feel comfortable with on all levels that we would actually draft; not that they aren’t going to get drafted. Look, 300 players or whatever it is are going to get drafted. It’s players that we would draft that actually we would feel comfortable with in our program in some capacity.” Some teams, like the Ravens for example, have said they have closer to 150. This is good insight when it comes to how the Patriots approach the draft. It shows they are very specific in what they want in their draft picks and know not every player is the right fit for their system.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Bill Belichick, Malcolm Butler, Nick Caserio, Robert Kraft
Patriots make minor transactions on what was busy Tuesday in Foxboro 04.18.17 at 5:14 pm ET
By   |  Comments Off on Patriots make minor transactions on what was busy Tuesday in Foxboro
The Patriots waived Tre' Jackson on Tuesday. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

The Patriots waived Tre’ Jackson on Tuesday. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

Tuesday turned into a pretty busy day for the Patriots.

Not only did director of player personnel Nick Caserio give his pre-draft press conference and Rex Burkhead address the media for the first time since joining the club, but the Patriots made a few minor transactions, confirmed by the NFL transaction wire.

— The Patriots released guard Tre’ Jackson. He didn’t play at all last year due to injury and Ted Karras impressed in his rookie season, likely jumping him on the depth chart.

— Tight end Matt Lengel signed his exclusive rights tender with the team meaning he will officially be back in 2017.

— Malcolm Butler signed his first-round tender for $3.91 million, meaning if he doesn’t get traded he will be back in 2017.

— New England officially put in offer sheet on Bills running back Mike Gillislee. Buffalo has until Monday to match the deal.

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

Read More: Malcolm Butler, Matt Lengel, Mike Gillislee, Tre Jackson

2017 PATRIOTS DRAFT PICKS

2017 NFL DRAFT

Player News
2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
Patriots Headlines
NFL Headlines
Tips & Feedback

Verify