Report: Patriots could trade Malcolm Butler for Brandin Cooks

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A rare player-for-player trade reportedly could be coming when the league year starts this afternoon, although it’s a trade that would require the teams to overcome some significant hurdles.

Dianna Russini of ESPN reports that the Patriots are considering trading cornerback Malcolm Butler to the Saints for receiver Brandin Cooks.

That’s surprising, although it does make some sense given the two teams’ priorities: It’s already been reported that the Patriots want Cooks and are willing to give up significant assets to acquire him, and it’s also been reported that the Saints want to improve their defense and would trade Cooks if it can help them do so. Throw in the fact that the Patriots are adding cornerback Stephon Gilmore, and it suddenly makes a lot of sense that they’d be willing to give up a cornerback if it can help their offense.

However, a deal like this could only get done if Butler, a restricted free agent, is willing to sign either his one-year tender offer or a long-term contract with the Saints. So until that gets done, this trade can’t get done.

If Butler will go along, he could go to New Orleans while Cooks goes to New England.

54 responses to “Report: Patriots could trade Malcolm Butler for Brandin Cooks

  1. Ask any patriots fan and they will tell you butler is one of their favorite players. I would rather sign butler than Gilmore because Gilmores weakness is getting beat overtop and while butler may not be a lockdown corner yet he rarely if ever gets beat deep. I would be very sad to see butler leave but in bill I trust.

  2. Love mb21 but this might be a good trade for both player and team. Butler is from the south so it might get him closer to home. And the patriots might want to load Brady up for the final stretch of his career.

    Butler has two rings. About time he got paid. Will always be a hero in ne.

  3. No matter what, I can NEVER guess what BB will do. Nobody else can, either. You think you know, but you don’t know.

  4. What adds fuel to this fire is that the Pats and the Saints hold joint practices every year so it gives both personnel groups a good long look at the prospective players to be traded.

    So I guess I believe the smoke that goes along with this particular fire.

  5. Well, that seems like a boatload of stupid to me. I love my Pats’, but I hope this isn’t going to be one of those Bellechick thinks he is smarter than he really is- AKA, the Kembrell Thompkins, Aaron Dobson years where Brady dragged a couple of crappy teams to the postseason single handedly .

  6. .
    The Patriots have repeatedly tried to work out a long term deal with Butler . After seeing the numbers given to Gilmore, it’s apparent that their offer must have been substantial. However, it appears that Butler and his agent are headed for unrestricted free agency no matter what. It’s not a welcome scenario when a player had mentally checked out. It’s a good time to cut bait and move on.

  7. If I’m the Saints I’d also ask for a draft pick to be thrown in with the deal. Pats need to trade Butler, with Gilmore making $14M and McCourty making $11M they will not be able to pay Butler the amount of money that’ll he’ll ask for when his contract is up at the end of this year. Kind of gives the Saints a bit of leverage.

  8. Lol Belichick making everyone’s head spin.

    Would really miss Butler and don’t want this trade though.

  9. No way should patriots trade Butler. BB needs to show loyalty to some of his best players and who are popular with patriots fans

  10. Relax, it’s not going to happen. Tennessee offered their #18 for Cooks and NO said, “No.”

    Players like Cooks are a dime a dozen, but it’s difficult to find players like Butler. Gilmore is OK, but a 2nd fiddle to Butler.

    Someone is just trying to increase a players value or make a team or player panic.

  11. “Kind of gives the Saints a bit of leverage.”

    Sorry, anyone who thinks they have leverage on Belichick soon learns otherwise. Bill and Payton come from the Parcells tree and respect each other. I don’t expect any bs here even if Loomis is the point person for the Saints. If anything, an agent could queer the deal that looks to make sense for all four principals.

  12. After years of criticism for some weird trades, releases and draft reaches and busts, I’m drinking the Kool-Aid: In Bill I trust.

  13. Look the Hoodie doesn’t trade unless the deal is overwhelmingly in his favor.
    So if he is willing to make a trade with you, you need to turn and run away as fast as possible.

  14. .
    It’s worth noting that the Saints face Matt Ryan, Cam Newton and Jameis Winston twice a year. Without a quality secondary, you’re toast.

  15. LMAO… I thought everyone wanted to take less money to win…right Pats Homers?

    good luck with Cooks… Aaron Dobson 2.0

  16. So the Patriots win 3 SBs with a defense first team, then go on a 10 year drought with an offense first team, then win 2 more with a defense first team & now they want to go back to being an offense first team? Sounds dumb. I like Cooks, but I like Butler better. Butler is exactly the guy you pay. Kid works his tail off & never complains. And this is how you treat him? What does that say to your locker room? Work hard & we’ll reward you by trading you. But hey, at least they’ll score 45 pts a game again. And no, Gilmore is not as good as Butler.

  17. cloud1515 says:
    Mar 9, 2017 11:30 AM
    No way should patriots trade Butler. BB needs to show loyalty to some of his best players and who are popular with patriots fans

    After 16 seasons of ridiculous continual success BB owes Pats nation nothing, yet he keeps delivering success.

    Drew Bledsoe, Lawyer Milloy, Ty Law, Willie McGinest, Mike Vrabel, Vince Wilfork, etc., all Pats fans favorites who were released or traded and the Pats and our fan base survived just fine.

  18. make it happen……..Butler wants too damn much money.. let him go!!! He is good… not great…
    Let him suffer in N.O. and see what he does against quality QB’s……

  19. I don’t think the trade would be heavily in the Patriots favor. I do think it makes both teams better and Bill just refuses to let agents dictate to him.

  20. BB and Payton are working in unison to control the market value for both Cooks and Butler – they’re not going to swap them. Even though Butler growing up 3 hours from NO is a curious thing.

    Sign and trade suprise. Gilmore deal done by 4pm, Gilmore traded to Saints for Cooks by 4:01pm

  21. The more you think of it even though Patriot fans swore it was nonsense, Cooks makes lots of sense in their offense. He’s basically an athletic upgrade of guys like Edelman and Amendola. He would be deadly in their offense (and I’m guessing he tested well for them when they interviewed him in the predraft process to know he’d get the offense, which has been a problem for some WRs who have been great elsewhere), and with the Gilmore signing, they won’t miss a beat without Butler who it’s becoming very apparent they wouldn’t pay next year when he’ll be unrestricted.

  22. When people mention no loyalty they forget how loyal BB is to players who show loyalty to the TEAM. Being a loyal head coach doesn’t mean spending irresponsibly. It means keeping players who contribute at every level.

    From blue collar heroes Troy Brown, Kevin Faulk, Matt Slater. To really good players Teddy Bruschi, Rodney Harrison, Matt Light. Even the elite talent of Tom Brady…show loyalty to the TEAM and stick around. Show that max money is more important than winning and you can get that money from a different team.

    Think Mankins, Moss, Seymour, Revis, Walker are happier they cashed in elsewhere?

  23. Belichik plays chess, everyone else plays checkers, and not very well at that. He’s 2 steps ahead of the other GMs and 4 steps ahead of us gum-chewing denizens of the peanut gallery, and we just sit back and enjoy it – those of us who are (lucky enough to be) Pats fans.

    The rest of you just go nuts about the unfairness of it all.

    It’s good to live in New England with all the champeens in Boston – 10 titles in the last 15 years between our 4 teams.

  24. Look the Hoodie doesn’t trade unless the deal is overwhelmingly in his favor.
    So if he is willing to make a trade with you, you need to turn and run away as fast as possible.
    Duane Starks

  25. thecape15 says:
    Mar 9, 2017 11:58 AM
    Say it aint so. Please.

    pretty sure it aint so. I cant think of any of these rumors involving the Pats that came true. It always comes out of nowhere when something does happen

    just that time of year when just about anything is “possible”

  26. Cooks and the Saints 2nd for Butler and the Patriots 1st. Otherwise the Saints are getting the wrong end of the deal.

  27. Like what was written on the board in the Patriots locker room during the SB, Defense Wins SB. Brady always got by with average receivers. Cooks is good but the Patriots need Butler more. Maybe BB is already setting it up to make the offense really elite for the next QB. Brady is a rare QB. Other teams need really good, if not elite, receivers for their QB. Brady used James White and marched down to claim the SB.
    We don’t know what BB’s plan is but we just have to trust him. He makes crazy moves like getting rid of Jones, Collins, and Easley. Somehow the team won the SB anyway.

  28. Pats getting rid of all the players that disrespected their Coach, his friendship with the President, and the country by refusing the invitation to visit the White House.

  29. The Patriots don’t need any diva-like WR guys here that exist in most other locker rooms and create distractions that can lead to losing. All of these “I need the ball” guys can stay where they are.

    Who the Patriots need is Butler–a top 5-10 CB at this point, and still on the upswing of his learning curve and career, Those guys don’t grow on trees.

    One of the things Belichick knows is that low round or undrafted guys are generally humble and hard workers. That and the fact that you can usually pay them less is how he does it. The Pats are always deeper than most teams because of it and can evolve into different ways of winning while other teams are screwed when their 1 or 2 “stars” are out.

    Those coaches don’t have the skill or personnel to get around it.

    Paying Butler to keep him is the right thing. He’s been a good soldier and has earned it. It also looks like the Pats would be getting their money’s worth for the deal.

  30. Easily a one sided deal in favor of the Patriots. Unfortunately for the Saints, Loomis’ track record on trading is pretty poor. He’s not the worst GM in the league, but I can’t think of any of his trades ever working out when they happen.

  31. “Pats getting rid of all the players that disrespected their Coach, his friendship with the President, and the country by refusing the invitation to visit the White House.”

    Uh no. If you think whether or not someone goes to the White House or not has even the tiniest impact on football moves that Belichick make then you know nothing about Bill or how he manages the Pats roster.

  32. I’m sorry… but how exactly did Dianna Russini of ESPN determine that the Patriots were considering this? There is no source noted, not even a clandestine “unnamed” one.

    And then this article’s writer is quoting her like she has stated facts?

    These sports reporters just fabricate stuff like this to spin up all the fans. Talk about your fake news. Have you no scruples?

  33. As a Pats fan I would much rather have Butler than Gilmore. Butler is as tough as any CB in the league and he has made big plays at big moments.

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