There was a report Sunday stating that Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler‘s absence from voluntary OTAs pertained to his desire to land a new contract. That isn’t the case, according to the Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe, who tweets that Butler will report to Gillette Stadium for OTAs this week. His arrival will come as welcome news to the Patriots, whose defense Butler became an integral part of last season. On the heels of serving as an unlikely Super Bowl XLIX hero in the Pats’ dramatic win over the Seahawks in February 2015, the 26-year-old Butler broke out in earnest during a 16-start campaign, totaling 67 tackles and two interceptions. Butler is now scheduled to rake in $600K in 2016 before becoming a restricted free agent.
More from around the NFL:
- The Seahawks’ Brandon Browner spent 2015 as a member of the Saints, with whom he rated as Pro Football Focus’ worst qualifying corner (113th overall) and set the league’s single-season penalty record. Browner’s on-field troubles led the Saints to release him earlier this offseason, and now the 31-year-old has offered some choice words regarding the organization. Browner called the team “weak” on Instagram, and the defender said he took New Orleans’ $5MM and “ran with it” (per Christopher Dabe of NOLA.com). Browner, by the way, will return to the Big Easy this fall for an Oct. 30 matchup between the Seahawks and Saints.
- With the Jets and free agent quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick still at loggerheads over a contract, Brian Costello of the New York Post offers a potential solution – a one-year, $12MM deal that’s fully guaranteed. The Jets are already willing to give Fitzpatrick that total in 2016, but they also want to lock him up for 2017 and ’18 at a combined $12MM more. A single-year pact wouldn’t be ideal for the Jets, concedes Costello, but it would hand them another season to evaluate Fitzpatrick and develop Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty behind him. Meanwhile, it would give Fitzpatrick an opportunity to build on the success he had in 2015 and try to garner a better multiyear offer than the one the Jets are currently presenting him.
- The Browns announced several changes within their player personnel department Tuesday, awarding promotions to six members of their staff and hiring a new assistant director of scouting. Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal has a full rundown of the moves.
- The Saints have hired Steve Malin and C.J. Leak as area scouts, tweets Mike Stratton of Inside The League. Malin was previously with the Giants for 15 seasons, while Leak worked for the Bills for eight years (via Katherine Terrell of NOLA.com).