New Orleans hasn’t “really had any discussions for quite some time” about acquiring Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler, according to Saints general manager Mickey Loomis, while head coach Sean Payton notes that the 27-year-old is “with New England, and I don’t think anything has changed. I don’t see anything being imminent as well (links via Josh Katzenstein of NOLA.com).” Their statements came on the heels of a report suggesting the Pats are unlikely to trade Butler, whom the Saints have chased throughout the offseason. New Orleans courted Butler as a restricted free agent and even agreed to a multiyear contract with him, but the club doesn’t want to meet the Patriots’ asking price for the onetime Pro Bowler.
More from New Orleans:
- Running back Mark Ingram posted a career year in 2016, rushing for 1,043 yards with a 5.1 YPC, catching 46 passes and combining for 10 touchdowns. Now, thanks to the Saints’ addition of seven-time Pro Bowler Adrian Peterson, Ingram will have to share a backfield with a higher-profile rusher. Nevertheless, Ingram is glad to have Peterson on the roster. “I’m all about winning, man,” Ingram said (via Teope). “If this will help us win, I’m all about winning. I’m all for it.” Ingram added that he’s “been sharing the ball with one or two, maybe three guys” since New Orleans drafted him in 2011. That has indeed been the case, as the likes of Pierre Thomas, Tim Hightower and Darren Sproles have gotten plenty of carries during the Ingram era. Hightower picked up 133 last year, for instance, but it didn’t stop Ingram from thriving.
- Even though Peterson’s a 32-year-old coming off an injury-marred season, signing him carries little risk for the Saints, opines Mike Triplett of ESPN.com. Triplett expects Peterson to have a bigger role in New Orleans than Hightower did, but he notes that Payton is excellent at allocating playing time to multiple running backs. In Triplett’s estimation, Payton’s expertise with RBs likely added to the Saints’ allure for Peterson.
- Loomis indicated Wednesday that he’s unsure if the Saints’ contract talks with wide receiver Willie Snead will lead to a deal, though he seems optimistic. “He’s here working and I don’t anticipate issues with Willie going forward,” Loomis said (via Herbie Teope of NOLA.com). “I’m excited that he’s here. Look, he’s been a good player, a good contributor to our team and expect him to be our team for a long time.” While Snead could be on the Saints’ books at a relatively meager $615K this year in the absence of a new pact, he still hasn’t signed his exclusive rights free agent tender. Regardless, he’s not eligible for unrestricted free agency until after the 2018 season.