Giardi: Butler courting offers elsewhere, wants new home

Giardi: Butler courting offers elsewhere, wants new home

If Malcolm Butler wants to get paid what he feels he's worth, he'll have to find a club willing to either a) sign him to an offer sheet and give up a first-round pick, or b) trade for him and give him a long-term extension. 

According to our Mike Giardi, that's exactly what he's is trying to do at the moment.

The reason a new home might be hard to find? Whatever team draws up an offer sheet for Butler won't only have to be ready to give him a lucrative long-term contract, but it will also have to be prepared to part with one of its most prized possessions: a first-round pick. 

The Patriots tendered Butler, a restricted free agent, at the highest level prior to the start of the new league year. That means that if Butler signs the tender -- which he has yet to do -- and plays for the Patriots, he'll make $3.91 million next year. If he signs an offer sheet with another club, that club will have to hand New England its first-rounder. 

It's a steep price for any team to pay, but a player of Butler's caliber rarely hits the restricted free agent market. For clubs at the bottom of the first round that believe they're one Pro Bowl-level corner away from competing for a Lombardi Trophy, giving up the opportunity to draft a more cost-effective player in exchange for the ready-made pro may make sense. 

The Patriots reportedly considered the idea of trading Butler to the Saints last week in return for receiver Brandin Cooks. But because Butler was not under contract -- because he has not signed his tender -- he could not be traded. The Patriots, you may have heard, found another way to get their man.

Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports sent out a mini Twitter blast on Sunday night as it related to Butler's situation. Two nuggets of note...

1) The Patriots would be "cool with" picking up a first-rounder if Butler finds the offer sheet he's looking for. This seems logical because while Butler is a very, very good corner -- arguably one of the five best at his position last season -- the team protected itself from losing him in some ways when it signed Stephon Gilmore to a five-year free-agent deal. They have a No. 1 guy -- or someone who projects as, and is being paid as, a No. 1 guy -- on the roster. What they don't have is a first or second-round pick. Getting into that range in the draft may be a priority for Bill Belichick and his front office, and Butler could be their ticket to get there. Of course, if there is no offer sheet, the Patriots probably would be more than happy to run onto the field with a one-two punch at corner of Butler and Gilmore. 

2) Butler is telling teams he wants a Gilmore-type deal. From Butler's perspective, this makes sense. He considers himself at Gilmore's level or better, and so the $40 million guaranteed that Gilmore received is could very well be his asking price. From the league's perspective, though, it might be difficult to rationalize giving Butler that kind of money at the moment. As a restricted free agent who will cost a team its first-round pick, his price tag is through the roof. Paying him near the very top of the market for corners, Gilmore-level, and giving up a first-rounder in a deep cornerback draft may be prohibitive for anyone in need of help at that position. This may be why Butler's agent is courting offers as opposed to being courted.

Former Patriots RB Danny Woodhead announces retirement

Former Patriots RB Danny Woodhead announces retirement

Former Patriots running back Danny Woodhead has announced his retirement after 10 years in the NFL.

The 33-year-old took to Instagram to make it official.

10 years! Wow, God had crazy plans for a small little kid from North Platte, NE! It’s been a wild ride and feel so blessed He allowed me to do what I loved for so long. But now it’s time to say goodbye to the game I love. First, I want to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! Without Him my career wouldn’t have been possible. He blessed me with the gifts and He paved the way. All I had to do was follow His plans for my life, and His plans were crazy awesome! Next, I want to thank my wife who has been by my side since freshman year of high school. She has been a rock through all the ups and downs. Sis, Willy, Mae Mae, and Hopie your daddy is going to be home a ton more and I can’t wait! Thanks to my Dad and Mom for always supporting me and showing me that God is first, then everything else will fall into place. Ben, Joel, and Anna thanks for preparing me for the NFL in our backyard games growing up. The dreaded in-laws Steve and Suzie for always being there for me. Chris Gittings (agent) you’re the best and thankful your my brother/uncle! Thank you Jets, Patriots, Chargers, and Ravens! Thanks to all my head coaches (Bob Zohner, Brad Smith, Bill O’Boyle, Eric Mangini, Rex Ryan, Bill Belichick, Mike McCoy, and John Harbaugh) who believed in me! To my rbs coaches (coach skiles, coach reiners, Jimmy Raye, A Lynn, Ivan, Ollie, Ridge, and Thomas) thanks for putting up with me. Thanks to all my teammates from high school till now. Without you guys I never would’ve become who I was as a player. To all my olinemen, you guys deserve the credit for anything that I received credit for. I thank you for helping make my career. To all the trainers, team docs, strength coaches, chiropractors, massage therapists, physical therapists, body gurus thanks for making sure I was on the field. To all the people who made my life easier at the facility (ops, pr, equipment staff, cafe workers, custodians) thanks and your work doesn’t go unnoticed. And how could i forget all my fans?! You’re the best and have always felt the love and support! I’m sure I’ve forgotten a few but know that I’m thankful for everything everyone has done on my journey.

A post shared by Danny Woodhead (@teamwoody39) on

Thursday, it was reported the Patriots reached out to Woodhead for a possible reunion. 

The last two seasons have been challenging for him, as he dealt with season-ending injuries in both 2016 with the Chargers and 2017 with the Ravens.

Woodhead finishes his career with 2,238 yards rushing, 2,698 yards receiving, 15 rushing touchdowns and 17 receiving touchdowns.


NBC Sports Boston Breakfast Pod: C's win despite injuries, Pats make additions

NBC Sports Boston Photo

NBC Sports Boston Breakfast Pod: C's win despite injuries, Pats make additions

1:20 - Despite throwing a depleted roster out there, the Celtics were able to get back in the win column vs. the Magic. Michael Holley and Tommy Heinsohn break down the win.

6:17 - Finally, the Patriots have done something! On Friday night it was reported that New England signed defensive end Adrian Clayborn as well as running back Jeremy Hill. Tom Curran, Alex Giaimo and Ben Volin discuss the impact these additions will have on the team.

11:05 - While the Celtics were able to pull out the win on Friday, the team did announce that Marcus Smart is expected to miss six to eight weeks after undergoing thumb surgery. A. Sherrod Blakely expresses his optimism on Smart’s return for the playoffs.