BOSTON (CBS) — All signs keep pointing toward Malcolm Butler staying in New England.

The Patriots cornerback has been the subject of a litany of trade rumors ever since he hit restricted free agency in March, but it appears that such a move will not take place. The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported on Monday that a trade between the Saints and Patriots involving Butler is “unlikely” for both sides, but Butler did work out a potential long-term deal with the Saints in the process.

The MMQB’s Peter King also reported on Monday that the Saints are leaning toward keeping all of their current draft picks, one of which is the 32nd pick that they acquired from the Patriots for receiver Brandin Cooks.

The Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe tweeted on Monday that Butler’s long-term deal that he had in place with the Saints was for over $50 million, which would have made him one of the highest-paid cornerbacks in the NFL.

Despite the Patriots’ apparent disinterest in signing Butler to such a deal, the news of Butler’s long-term agreement is something of an offseason win for the organization. Butler could now be motivated to play his best football in 2017 in an effort to earn himself even more money when he becomes an unrestricted free agent next year.


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