Saints "leaning" toward keeping draft picks

Posted April 25, 2017

With the NFL Draft just a few days away, there have been plenty of New England Patriots rumors about what will happen with two key pieces.

Butler wants a long-term deal, but he was a restricted free agent this offseason, which meant he didn't have any real options, while the Pats merely had to offer him a tender in the amount of $3.91 million for one season.

The New Orleans Saints brought Butler in for a visit earlier this offseason and have been effusive in their praise of the 27-year-old, but are "leaning toward" holding on to their top three selections in this year's draft - Nos.

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.

The Patriots seem dead-set on getting at least one more cost-efficient year out of Butler, simply because they can.

The Saints are determined to improve a woeful defense through the draft.

According to King's source, the Saints believe there are plenty of players who will be available in the first three rounds (they also have the 76th overall pick) and are capable of making an immediate impact.

The Saints could use a player like Butler in their lineup. It won't be known if the Saints will make a move until the draft (day two of the draft to be specific), but they may try to flip a 2018 pick into Butler afterwards.

Peter King of reported Monday that the Saints still have interest in the cornerback but "the thought of dealing one or more picks for Butler, then paying him a huge contract, is less attractive than it once seemed".