Malcolm Butler is in line for a raise, and now that we know where the restricted free agent tender values sit, we have an idea of just how significant that raise will be.
Per ESPN's Field Yates, the first-round restricted free agent tender is worth $3.91 million. Meanwhile, the second-round tender sits at $2.746 million, and the original-round tender is $1.797 million.
Butler, who will become a restricted free agent when the new league year begins on Mar. 9, likely will be tendered by the Patriots at the highest level. That will mean a better than 600 percent increase in salary for the 27-year-old who made $600,000 in 2016.
Should the Patriots tender Butler before the Mar. 9 deadline, he'll still be able to field offers from around the league. If he were to sign an offer sheet elsewhere, and if the Patriots opted not to match, New England would receive a first-round pick in return.
Though it would be somewhat of a surprise for a player who's been tendered at the highest level to receive an offer sheet from another club -- usually the threat of losing a first-round pick is a deterrent for teams in the market for free-agent help -- it's also unusual that a player of Butler's caliber hits restricted free agency.
The hero of Super Bowl XLIX, he was named a Pro Bowler in 2015, and there is a case to be made for him as one of the game's five best players at his position.
As such, the $3.91 million he'd be paid on the first-round tender would still represent a bargain for the Patriots. In terms of average annual salary, it would make him the 34th highest-paid corner in the game, placing him just behind Chicago's Tracy Porter ($4 million), according to Spotrac.com.
Butler and the Patriots can still work out a long-term extension before the new league year begins on Thursday. Other restricted free agents the Patriots could tender between now and then are backup offensive tackle Cameron Fleming and tight end Mike Williams.