Malcolm Butler will skip Patriots' voluntary workouts

New England Patriots defensive lineman Alan Branch tosses his gloves to a fan after their 26-10 victory over the Los Angeles Rams in an NFL football game Sunday Dec. 4 2016 in Foxborough Mass

Butler signed the first-round tender given to him by the Patriots on Tuesday, which eliminates any chance of another team signing him to a restricted free-agent offer sheet.

With Butler signed, the Patriots can engage in trade talks with other teams regarding Butler if they desire. It's no secret that the Saints are looking to improve their secondary, but New England seems unlikely to part with one of their top defensive backs for anything less than a first-round selection.

The Saints have been searching for help at cornerback for years.

Saints coach Sean Payton said at the National Football League meetings last month the team plans to add two cornerbacks this offseason and showed his interest in Butler. But until that time, it appears that the Patriots and Butler are far enough apart that he won't be joining the team for any work that is not required of him.

The Patriots also signed exclusive rights free agent tight end Matt Lengel and released offensive lineman Tre' Jackson. "I think it was a good step".

Butler has played in eight postseason games with five starts, and he had an interception at the goal-line that secured the win over the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX.

Butler has no intention of participating in voluntary offseason workouts, according to Michael Giardi of CSN New England.

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