BOSTON (CBS) — The Patriots may have just won the Super Bowl, but they are not messing around this offseason.
According to ESPN’s Diana Russini, the Patriots are “considering” making a trade of Malcolm Butler for Saints receiver Brandin Cooks.
Butler, 27, is a restricted free agent. The Patriots placed a first-round tender on him this week, meaning if any team signed him via free agency, that team would have to give its first-round pick to the Patriots.
The Patriots have been linked to Cooks in rumors, with the Saints reportedly seeking a first-round pick in exchange for the 23-year-old receiver.
Cooks has caught 215 passes for 2,861 yards and 20 touchdowns in his three-year career.
Earlier on Thursday, the Patriots reportedly agreed to terms with cornerback Stephon Gilmore. On Wednesday, the team traded for tight end Dwayne Allen.
Cooks is in the final year of his rookie contract, which will pay him just over $1.5 million in salary in 2017, though there is a fifth-year option in his contract. Butler is in position to be an unrestricted free agent in 2018.