I’ve heard all the hype, both pros and cons, on making a trade deal for Malcolm Butler. I’m not disputing his talent, just fear the cost of such a move. Let alone the fact that there are at least five to six starting caliber prospects in this years draft.
Let’s exam the cost of such a move first. The market valuation. Source Spotrac.
5 yrs, $64,687,961
Avg. Salary: $12,937,592
NFL Rank: #54
CB : #8 Rank
The Saints don’t have the cap space for any contract approaching these numbers. I know Mickey Loomis is a cap magician, but we would have to mortgage a substantial part of our cap future for this one position. Secondly, no matter how good Butler is, without a pass rush don’t expect any better results. Then we would have to give up one or more draft picks. Possibly this year and in 2018. We would give up the 11th in 2017 if we just flat out made and offer. And despite all the rumors, this isn’t even an option until Malcolm signs his tender. The most favorable outcome would be the Patriots agreeing to contract terms and then making a trade with the Saints. Here you most likely give up multiple picks. Again this is too costly in my opinion. One thought you might also consider. After tying up this kind of money in Butler, we might not have a HOF quarterback under center next season. Cap space could be a very real issue.
Next there are at least five or six potential starting caliber cornerbacks in this years draft. In order of grades from NFL Draft Tracker:
Marshon Lattimore, grade 6.5
Sidney Jones, grade 6.5
Marlon Humphrey, grade 6.1
Tre’Davious White, grade 6.0
all likely starters in the NFL.
Then only the top two possible starters. Anyone grading 5.7 and above could become early starters.
Conley Gareon and Teez Tabor both grade 5.9. Then you have a slew of cornerbacks graded 5.7 to 5.8.
Many of these players will be available either with the 32nd pick, or in the second round. With the talent pool you will be able to grab good talent even into the third round at least.
We can address both our pass rush and secondary issues in the first 2 rounds. It just doesn’t make since to mortgage the future for one player. If you just have to have a veteran there are still players available in free agency that would shore up the secondary and not break the bank. For available FA, Spotrac Free Agency Tracker.