BOSTON (CBS) — It appears Malcolm Butler is ready to play for the Patriots in 2017.

The cornerback, who had a frustrating offseason as a restricted free agent, has joined the team for their voluntary offseason workout program at Gillette Stadium, according to ESPN’s Field Yates.

Butler did not participate in New England’s offseason workouts prior to last weekend’s NFL Draft, amid whispers of a potential trade with the New Orleans Saints. That deal never happened and the Saints drafted Ohio State cornerback Marshon Lattimore with the 11th overall pick. There was speculation that Butler could have held out in training camp (and possibly into the season) in hopes of getting either a long-term deal with the Patriots or traded elsewhere, but that doesn’t appear tol be the case with the Super Bowl XLIX hero.

He was reportedly unhappy after the Patriots signed Stephon Gilmore to a five-year, $65 million contract on the first day of free agency, but now it appears the two will form one of the more talented corner duos in the NFL in 2017.

Butler will be paid $3.9 million this year after signing a restricted free agent tender with New England. The 27-year-old will become an unrestricted free agent after the season, and will likely get that long-term, big money contract he sought over the winter.

[graphiq id=”fBZcPP2g2JT” title=”Malcolm Butler Career Defensive Stats” width=”600″ height=”372″ url=”” ]


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