The Patriots now have the opportunity to match any offer sheet the defensive back receives, and they’ll be compensated with a first-round pick if the player signs elsewhere.
The former undrafted free agent broke onto the scene with his Super Bowl-winning interception during the 2014 season. Since then, Butler has established himself as one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL. The 27-year-old finished the 2016 season with 63 tackles, one sack, one forced fumble, and four interceptions, and PFF ranked him as the seventh-best cornerback in the NFL.
The Patriots will presumably do everything in their power to retain Butler, especially since fellow cornerback Logan Ryan is also a free agent. If the duo left, the team would be forced to rely on Eric Rowe, Justin Coleman, Cyrus Jones, and Jonathan Jones.
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