Howe: Malcolm Butler ‘Calmed Down’, Would Still ‘Prefer’ To Stay With Patriots

BOSTON (CBS) — Malcolm Butler has been a big subject of discussion during the Patriots’ busy offseason. The team’s big-money signing of cornerback Stephon Gilmore, which they reportedly told Butler they wouldn’t do, understandably angered the 27-year-old Butler after receiving a smaller offer for an extension.

The Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Tuesday to update the situation between Butler and the Patriots. Howe reported on Monday that the Patriots had offered the restricted free agent $6-7 million per season with their last offer. It’s not exactly “the moon,” but Howe deemed it a “fair” offer for Butler.

Although Butler was initially frustrated with the Patriots about their lack of a lucrative long-term extension for him, Howe said that he’s calmer now.

“There was a short period of time when Butler was pretty angry about it,” said Howe. “I think eventually he calmed down, the anger subsided.”

So where does Butler and his agent Derek Simpson go from here, now that they know what kind of money they should seek on the next long-term deal?

“If you’re Butler and you’re negotiating with the Patriots … whereas 6-9 months ago you probably would’ve taken $10 million a year, now you’re probably not going to take a penny less than $13 million a year,” said Howe. “So that kind of changes that whole spectrum.”

Howe says Butler has “received some interest from other teams,” but that doesn’t mean he will be able to sign an offer sheet with another team. In fact, Howe said that any team that makes Butler an offer might be essentially doing the Patriots a favor.

“The Patriots’ best-case scenario is … another team does their bidding for them and Butler agrees to an offer sheet that’s somewhere below market value,” said Howe. “Maybe [his offer sheet] is still somewhere in the range of $10 million annually, and then the Patriots might still have a chance to match that and keep him – and Butler would be more than happy if that wound up to be the scenario.”

At the end of the day, Butler learned the hard way that the Patriots put business first, no matter how well you’ve played or how much you’ve done for them as a player. Butler also learned, however, that even though he reportedly doesn’t plan on holding out, he needs to worry about himself as well.

“Butler has realized that you’ve got to act with your own business in mind here,” said Howe. “And if another team is willing to pay what Butler is worth in market value, he’d be happy to go to another team, too.

“All things being equal, if they can resolve this thing in New England that’s what he’d prefer to do, there’s no question about that.”

Howe also discussed what Gilmore brings to the Patriots defense that Butler doesn’t. Listen to the full podcast below:

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