BOSTON (CBS) — After a frustrating offseason that ended with a restricted free-agent tender and not a long-term deal, Malcolm Butler is back working out with the Patriots. But it may not be his last offseason in New England.

Butler’s attitude and work ethic has been mostly unquestioned to this point in his career, but 2017 presents a whole new situation for the 27-year-old cornerback. If he shows up, works hard, does his job, and excels like he has since he stepped onto the field, then the Patriots could be looking to not just keep him for 2017 but sign him to a long-term extension.

According to 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Scott Zolak, an extension could legitimately be in play. Speaking on Zolak & Bertrand on Thursday, Zo talked about Butler’s presence at Patriots offseason workouts and his spot in the roster. Zo believes Butler is still asserting himself atop the cornerback depth chart, despite the presence of $65 million man Stephon Gilmore.

“From what I’m hearing, [Butler’s] all in,” said Zolak. “He’s first in every drill. He’s running with the [first team]. He’s still the top dog at corner, even with the [$13 million] corner opposite him. And now it’s up to him, how he acts in these situations.”

Zo’s inside sources at Gillette Stadium appear to be indicating to him that Butler is doing everything the Patriots are looking for – and that they could be working on a potential extension.

“They may be talking,” he said. “I don’t know that, but they may be talking.”

Listen to the full podcast below:


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