Malcolm Butler’s agent: No contract talks with Pats this year

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Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler’s name came up as part of a potential trade on Thursday as New England is reportedly considering a deal that would send Butler to the Saints for wide receiver Brandin Cooks.

That report came after the Patriots agreed to terms with former Bills cornerback Stephon Gilmore on a deal that will pay him an average of $13 million a year. The two things taken together suggest the Patriots are moving away from a long-term commitment to Butler, who is tendered at the first-round level as a restricted free agent this year.

If there has been a change of heart, Butler’s agent Derek Simpson said that it isn’t because of any recent contract talks.

“The Patriots haven’t approached Malcolm about his contract since last year, and anything that says he keeps asking for the moon is completely false,” Simpson said, via Mike Reiss of

The “asking for the moon” mention may be in reference to former Patriots employee and Bill Belichick friend Mike Lombardi, wro wrote in a piece for The Ringer that Butler is “is looking for the moon and then some” in a long-term deal with the Patriots. There are plenty of moving parts to work out in a trade, but the chances of Butler talking to a different team about a contract certainly seems likelier today than it did before the start of free agency.

49 responses to “Malcolm Butler’s agent: No contract talks with Pats this year

  1. I’d love for Butler to be a long-term Pat. Something happened, what I’m not sure. But it never pays to PO BB.

    Gilmore’s signing is one heck of a shot across #21’s bow. Mess with the hoodie at your own peril.

    Having said that, Butler w a s the perfect Pat, doing his job. $40 mill guaranteed for Stephon is a check of a message.

  2. I would, too. However, I would really like to watch Cook’s stretch the field. Imagine those seem routes Brady loves to throw to Gronk and the quick slants to Edelman et. al.

  3. I wonder why Derek Simpson hasn’t been hired to rep any other NFL players other than Malcolm Butler…. maybe because he spurned a reasonable offer? I love having Malcolm in New England, but if we know anything about Belichick, it’s that he treats this like a business (which it is) and he will always be the one to establish leverage.

    I appreciate your contributions, Malcolm, and now I’ll look forward to watching Brandin Cooks light up the AFC East. And Malcolm…a little hint for your next city… ultimately, fans cheer for the laundry.

  4. nevalha says:
    Mar 9, 2017 9:16 PM

    I would be disappointed to see him go.

    I’m getting over it pretty quick if they get Cook.

  5. Love Malcolm Butler, made arguably the greatest play ever in the Super Bowl would be great to have him and Gilmore, but Cooks would help ease the pain.

  6. I’m obviously no insider, but it seems the Pats decided they couldn’t do business with MButler’s agent. They went to plan B. They just don’t put up with that. There are certain guys they won’t draft because of his agent.

  7. Even though he ruined my Sunday a couple years back, I really like this guy. He would be a solid addition to any team in the league. Unfortunately, the Patriots have what seems to be “keeper” positions where they pay players to keep continuity like offensive line and tight ends on offense (Not to mention Tom Brady) and Safety MLB and DT on defense. All the other pieces are inter-changable / expendable. Once a star is born out of the draft at any other position, they trade for a big profit and keep the cap space for their “keepers.”

  8. For everyone who say the Pats should pay him because of how well he played and his SB play, and the Pats are cruel not to pay him big bucks, remember…..

    #1. Butler would not be in the NFL if the Pats didn’t give him a chance..
    #2. Butler will get his huge payday with the Pats or with another team, and that is all because…see #1

  9. Since the Pats are always so cheap. Maybe they should start paying these guys before the clock strikes midnight on their contracts.

  10. Bummer. Guy made the single greatest play in SB history and to my eyes played pretty damn well this season. Do you have to bow and scrape around BB all the time? And a guy that never played a down for the Pats gets their millions.

    Gotta wonder how this trickles down through the team with an aging Brady – without TB why would anyone go there as a free agent

  11. There is defiantly some bad blood between Malcolm’s agent & BB….
    If no talks have transpired in the last 2 1/2 months then SOMETHING is wrong….
    Guess it will be whatever it will be….
    I trust the HOODIE!!!
    Go Pats!!!

  12. I too wonder what happened that they are not talking?,?
    Firstly, Simpson has only one player, Butler, that he represents, so he is a novice at this. That makes it difficult at best.
    From what I heard, the agent wanted the negotiations to start as if Butler is a UFA, not an RFA and that is really a non-starter.
    If that is the attitude of Simpson, I have to wonder why the Patriots would see Butler as a player they could negotiate for long term. My guess is they made a decision and went forward and that is the reason they got Gilmore.
    Yes, I love Malcolm Butler and all he has done, but having an agent like that will not help things. Supposedly this agent has already negotiated the movie rights to Malcolm’s story to some producer. To me, the agent is really the problem and sadly, what may have been a really great career in New England may never happen.

  13. Recall that nobody wanted butler, not just nfl teams but also agents.

    Butler’s agent is an alabama attorney who reps players as a hobby. He’s rep-d some other players from their state but I believe butler is the only one who made a roster.

    They guy has said as much that he spent a lot of money to become an agent relative to what he makes and that butler is his only client. If that’s true he might’ve barely broken even on representing butler. It seems his agent sold his movie rights but has been less successful negotiating a contract extension and getting his client paid.

    Just throwing it out there- we know BB has fairly high standards. A guy who only reps one client part-time may not be making the best use of his information and the hoodie’s time, much less his clients.

  14. factpurveyor says:
    Mar 9, 2017 9:42 PM
    Butler & Amendola for Cook and the Saints 4th round draft pick.
    Doubt they would take Amendola at his current contract/cap hit….
    He’d have to be willing to re-negotiate it…..

  15. Butler’s agent is a full time lawyer in private practice, but is registered as an agent. He represents Butler as an “aside.”

    I had hoped Malcolm would talk to his teammates, and find someone with, at least, more experience and “know how” to guide him properly, but apparently he’s decided to stay with Simpson.

    I want Butler to stay with the Pats very badly, he is one of the “hearts and souls” of their defense. Hopefully, they’re working on something behind the scene, but I have doubts.

  16. Butler is the worst possible guy to do this with. He’s a great corner, great locker room guy, works his tail off, plays with a chip on his shoulder, very tenacious, rarely gets beaten for a big gain, has good technique and doesn’t commit a huge number of penalties.

    Yes he was an undrafted FA the Pats gave a shot to, but he’s come up big in the biggest moments of his career. What more can you ask of a guy? He’s an ultimate blue collar Patriot type player.

    I’m usually an in Bill we trust guy, but this one has me scratching my head.

  17. Gilmore is as good as Butler, but Gilmore keeps his mouth shut and goes with the flow. He has never been the type of player that shoots off at the mouth… he prefers to let his play do the talking. Butler used to be that way until the SB winning play got to his head. From then on out Butler was pushing the “pay me” card, which won’t flow with Belichick.

    Gilmore is a good player, but hasn’t lived up to his 1st round pick at #10.

    Gilmore was a good sign by the Patriots… better than paying Butler the same, but not at the price they paid. Forty million guaranteed is quite a bit for a cb that was repeatedly burned by Chris Hogan and struggled when the safety help was pulled away.

  18. The man has two rings, played lights out ball, wants money. BUT he did get burned a bit last year, bigger guys get up on him. I’m pretty sure they are just playing games and will work something out. Gilmore/Scrap would be AWESOME.

  19. shiz1156 says:
    Mar 9, 2017 9:41 PM

    Since the Pats are always so cheap. Maybe they should start paying these guys before the clock strikes midnight on their contracts.


    Anyone remember which team won 2 out of the last 3 superbowls?

  20. Malcom Butler is a great player, a great person and a great Patriot.

    I hope the Patriots will keep Malcom Because he has earned the right to be a patriot for a long time and compensated fairly.

    I hope Bob Kraft can remind Bill Belichek about how he talks about family. Malcolm is a member of the Patriots family

  21. I like Butler and would like him back.

    One thing we know for sure. Belichick operates in stealth mode and does not leak his business.

    Butler’s agent has a whopping 2 NFL contracts on his resume.

    Yet, we continue to hear about Butler being unhappy about his contract. For a year now.

    That’s coming from somewhere.

    Yeah, of course the Patriots aren’t going to re-negotiate with a guy on a minimum deal that has no leverage for two years. It’s smart business. Keeping him with the 1st round tender is another smart move. In the salary cap Era, you don’t go and give guys 2 years into the league extra money when you don’t have to.

    I understand Butler being upset by seeing the Patriots signing Gilmore to a big deal. It seems like a slap in the face. Butler is deserving of the same kind of deal. But, his payday is a year away. He’s not an unrestricted free agent right now. Maybe the Pat’s planned on giving him a new deal later this off season. Maybe they planned on paying him next off season. Something caused them to call Gilmore’s people this AM and get a deal done. I seriously doubt there hasn’t been any contact with the Patriots in a year. Sounds more like they had a preliminary discussion and either an issue of signing him now or the demanded $ amount didn’t sit well. Otherwise, the Patriots would’ve just signed Logan Ryan for a cheaper deal(than Gilmore) to be the #2. Gilmore was signed to be #1 eventually. Either after a year with Malcolm, or with Malcolm to be traded.

  22. Since the Pats are always so cheap. —-etc. etc.

    Amazing how even professional sports writers repeat this ridiculous statement (especially in Boston)..

    Fact: Patriots spend exactly the same amount of salary money every year on avg. as every other team as required by CBA. They could not be cheap if they wanted too, but they could be really lousy for the same money like most of the other teams. Pats have the same payroll with a better paid middle class and in fact, the HIGHEST PAID practice squad.

    Belichick is strictly business in parting with some of our favorite players when he decides he can get equal performance for less, but every dollar is ultimately spent trying to improve the team.

  23. Technicalities, like with the Wes Welker situation.

    David Dunn, agent for Welker insisted to press that Patriots hadn’t made an offer to his client in two years. What Dunn didn’t tell the press, was that a $15 million signing bonus was included as an ante for the team to even begin talks — an out-of-whack starting point that the Patriots were never going to agree to.

    So Malcolm Butler’s agent says the Patriots haven’t approached him with a contract offer since last year. I call technicality-shenanigans.

  24. Strange dynamic here, can’t help but feel there is more to it. Perhaps as others have suggested it’s the agent or his approach or maybe something else altogether but it just seems like this should have gotten done well before it came to this.

  25. I don’t understand why everyone is so quick to jump to the “agent doesn’t know what he’s doing” routine. Seems like the agent is slow playing this thing very smartly. My guess is Butler signs the tender, gets a substantial offer sheet, which then gets matched by the Patriots. It’s not the agent’s job to care who his guy plays for, it’s his job to make sure his guy gets paid, and Butler’s gonna get paid.

  26. Agents of starting corners tend to think they have the team over the barrel. The Patriots are not the only team to move on from a corner and they did it just two years ago with Revis.

    Fans seem to think the team negotiates with a player. They don’t. They negotiate with an agent. Gilmore signed for an average of $13MM per year. If Butler took the same deal less one year at $4MM instead of $13 due to the Restricted Free Agency year I suspect they would have had a deal. I would bet dollars to donuts that this inexperienced agent took the position that Butler was due a premium to make up for short money in the early years of his career. That would be a nonstarter and lead to a breakdown in negotiations.

  27. The only leverage Butler has now with the Pats is going out and finding a team that will negotiate a big contract and give up a first round pick. Possible, not probable. If the Pats try to trade him to New Orleans, he has all the leverage as to holding up the deal, because he can refuse to sign his tender. He would have to work out a contract in advance with New Orleans, it would have to happen quick, because Belichick is not going to work on Butler’s timetable. Strictly from the New Orleans perspective, it doesn’t make sense to trade Cooks for Butler. The deal for New England’s 32nd pick makes more sense, New Orleans would have a first rounder they would control for 4 years on short money PLUS the big money Butler would have cost them, to sign another big free agent or shore up a couple spots. That all being said, it seems Belichick and Payton are more likely just playing games to raise Cooks’ trade value and put Butler in his place. That is to make him realize that there is no way the Patriots are going to negotiate with him like he is unrestricted as Butler wants, be needs to take his 3.91 million RFA tender whether he likes it or not.

  28. Time out – 3 years ago the only corner Butler was covering was the drive thru at Popeyes. The Pats were the ONLY team to give him a shot. Kudo’s to him that he made the most of it. He made the team and made over a half MILLION dollars being the last DB on the roster. A guy who did little until the superbowl, where he did real well.

    He was well coached, worked hard and made himself into one of the better CB’s in the NFL. IF he was an UFA he would deserve and probably get an 8 figure/yr deal from the Pats. But he ISN’T. That is the system in the NFL. It “merely” gave him over a 400% raise to $4MM for this season, and NEXT year he can get his pay day, either with the Pats or someone else.

    I don’t understand why people seem to think the Pats should pay him more than they have to. The Red Sox traded for Chris Sales this off season. As an UFA, Sale would be worth close to $30MM/yr as a top 5 pitcher in the league. Instead he going to make $13MM/yr for next 3 years.

    I find it interesting that not ONE of the mediots on the radio/TV or in print are calling for Sales to withhold services or complain. Not one! Why? Because that’s the system in baseball and for some reason everyone understands it.

    In the NFL it take 4 years to reach UFA. Butler has played only 3. It’s time people started to deal with that reality. If you don’t like it, no one is forcing you to play.

  29. .
    In his three seasons with the Patriots, Butler has made 1.85 million which is a rather paltry sum compared to other comparable players. His restricted tender this year was 3.9 million. So one could see how he would be upset seeing lesser players make 10 million per season while last year he made 600k.

    However, there’s a system in place and it’s very hostile to the undrafted free agent. They don’t make any real money until they hit true free agency, or get extended . Last year when an extension was rejected by Butler’s camp, it gave the Patriots a clear indication that he would be gone at the first opportunity. At that point, you might as well move him.

  30. They could get Cooks and keep Butler by moving Jimmy to Cleveland for a high 1st and trade that over to N.O.

  31. I’m not saying this as a Bostonian, but Belichick’ shops friend Mike
    Lombardi WORKED for us and has nailed a ton on the head. So much so, after the Collins trade, bill cut off a reporter and said “Mike is one of the msartwat guys I’ve ever known.”

    How this relates to malcolm is, Lombardi said Butler was asking for a MOON money contract. Aka, pay me like Sherman and Peterson. He probably had his agent tell Belichick give us this, or we won’t talk. Bill called his bluff..

    THAT OR: they are sending smoke screens to the league for a CB needy team to bite on the 1st rounder tender especially if they think they are a CB away.

  32. The Pats must really want this guy. Has nothing to do with sending Butler a “message. Pats do not pay other positions Brady kind of money. Heck, they don’t even pay Brady Brady kind of money. Plus, they are going after a coveted WR.
    My guess is the Pats are gonna go all out to get BB and TB their 6th ring together. This will end all the who is the GOAT in both their categories.
    I hope butler remains a Pat as well as Hightower.
    On O, I hope they beef up the line and also get this deep threat WR they seem to be shopping for.
    They have a good foundation of guys, plenty of cap space

    A couple key componants and some luck with players staying healthy and they could possibly pull off that 19-0 they almost got in 07

  33. Love Butler, but $40 mill guaranteed on a 5 year, $65 mill contract is a big, fat, message that’s hard to ignore.

    BB may be a strident taskmaster, but it’s hard to ignore results. 15 AFC championship games in 17 years? In Bill we trust.

    All the haters ignore the obvious. Pats win, year in and year out, no matter what adversary they face. Sucks to be a fan of other teams.

  34. harrisonhits2 says:
    Mar 9, 2017 10:00 PM

    Butler is the worst possible guy to do this with. He’s a great corner, great locker room guy, works his tail off, plays with a chip on his shoulder, very tenacious, rarely gets beaten for a big gain, has good technique and doesn’t commit a huge number of penalties.

    Yes he was an undrafted FA the Pats gave a shot to, but he’s come up big in the biggest moments of his career. What more can you ask of a guy? He’s an ultimate blue collar Patriot type player.

    I’m usually an in Bill we trust guy, but this one has me scratching my head.
    What you have said is true BUT……he also has an agent that basically does not understand much about negotiation. From what I understand, HIS position was the Patriots needed to treat Butler NOT as an RFA but more like a UFA and that is a non-starter! Simpson, Butler’s agent, was crying about how there were no negotiations this past season and OBVIOUSLY the way he left it with the Pats was NOT good!! It can be a game of chicken and the Patriots moved on. Simpson seems to be out for himself as opposed to actually getting a deal done. Quite sad for Butler, but he really need an agent who had experience and not a rookie.

  35. Butler is a better overall corner than Gilmore. I wish the Patriots just signed Butler to the same deal they gave Gilmore. The fact that they didn’t leads you to believe Butler wanted much more that the Gilmore deal. If that’s the case I’m ok with moving on from Butler, even if it’s a slight downgrade at the position.

    As for getting Brandin Cooks. I’m not as crazy about him as some others, mostly because the Patriots are pretty much set at WR. They just won a SB with Edelman, Hogan, Amendola, Mitchell. Adding another weapon never hurts but it’s just not a need for the team right now.

  36. Wolfman, the GOAT thing is settled already on BB and TB12. Any more is just gravy on the GOAT.
    I don’t see the need for the deep threat. TB12 fires away at 10-20 yard targets: 2 TEs and a smattering of Welker/Amendola types. They can pick up a speedster with frying pan hands anywhere to take a safety deep…why pay top dollar? TB12 will just over/underthrow him anyway as a decoy.

  37. wolfmanpatriot says:
    Mar 9, 2017 11:58 PM

    …….A couple key componants and some luck with players staying healthy and they could possibly pull off that 19-0 they almost got in 07
    I mean that is a wonderful thing to think about. Take the dream a few steps further. The Patriots beat the Giants and Manning in the SB 67-0 with Brady throwing 6 touchdown passes to six different receivers, 2 touchdowns with 2 point conversions, all others with 1 with Garoppolo taking over at the beginning of the 4th quarter leading an additional drive for a touchdown and the defence and special teams also scoring (defence with a strip sack of Manning in the end zone). One field goal from 63 yards out. Can you imagine? Belichick gets executive of the year, Brady season and SB MVP, the net worth of the Patriots exploding to 2x Cowboys. And Goodell again has to hand the SB to the Krafts and the MVP to Brady. That would be glorious.
    An additional 4,000,000 fans tune in when hearing the score late in the game thinking it had to be an NBA game that was on. They even show Mark Cuban in the owner’s suite with Kraft.
    Of course, some would still say that Brady isn’t the GOAT cause Young threw 6 touchdowns in a SB first. But what the heck, it’s still a good dream.
    OK, time to wake up. No way Patriots are going to win by more than 30.

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