NEW: Patriots’ Butler Signs Restricted Free Agent Tender
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
The Patriots can now either pay Butler $3.91 million for the 2017 season or trade him to another team. Prior to Butler signing the tender, it was against NFL rules for the Patriots to discuss him in a trade.
"Our focus and goal is to put together the best team possible and however we're going to improve our team, whatever players we think are going to help our team for the 2017 season, then that's what we're going to do," said Patriots Director of Player Personnel Nick Caserio when asked about Butler in his pre-NFL Draft press conference this week.
Earlier in the offseason, Butler had a restricted free agent visit with the New Orleans Saints.
“For us it was a chance to meet him. Put him on the board, find out how much football he knows. He's from Mississippi. I think it was a good step . . . He's a guy we thought enough of in this process. We'll see, though,” said Saints head coach Sean Payton during the NFL meetings in Arizona.
Butler With the Patriots
After going undrafted out of the University of West Alabama, Butler was working at a Popeyes restaurant when his agent got him a tryout with the Patriots.
A few months later, he became a Super Bowl hero.
Butler intercepted Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson to seal the Patriots Super Bowl 49 victory.
Two years later, Butler is the Patriots number one cornerback and has a second Super Bowl ring as New England beat Atlanta in Super Bowl 51.
Source: Patriots CB Malcolm Butler has signed his restricted free agent tender. A trade is still on the table.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) April 18, 2017
Patriots CB Malcolm Butler has signed his RFA tender, per @FieldYates. That means trade talks can commence. Relevant: Draft is 9 days away.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) April 18, 2017
Related Slideshow: 16 Plays That Define the Patriots 2016 Season Regular Season - in Vines
LeGarrette Blount Leaps Over a Dolphins Player
LeGarrette Blount took a toss from rookie quarterback Jacoby Brissett and proceeded to make an Olympic hurdle type leap over Dolphins' defensive back Byron Maxwell and pick up the first down
Blount ran for 123 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries.
Garoppolo Dominates Miami
In the Patriots home opener against the rival Miami Dolphins, Garoppolo was dominant, completing 18 of 27 passes for 234 yards and three touchdowns, including this one to Danny Amendola.
Garoppolo would get injured just before halftime and the Patriots would hold on to win 31-24.
Hightower's big hit on Browns quarterback Cody Kessler knocked him out of the game. The next week, Hightower would sack Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton in the end zone for a safety and change the momentum of that game.
So far this season, Hightower has 1.5 sacks, one safety, 14 solo tackles and one pass defensed in six games played.
Tom Brady Plays First Game Back at Gillette
Brady made his return to the Patriots in the previous game on the road against Cleveland, but his first game back at Gillette Stadium came against the Bengals.
Brady hit running back James White for his first touchdown pass of the day and New England won 35-17.
He finished the game completing 29 of 35 passes for 376 yards and three touchdowns.
Gronkowski Injured on Hit by Seattle's Earl Thomas
Near the end of the 2nd quarter of the Patriots game against Seattle, Earl Thomas hit Rob Gronkowski square in the chest. Just two weeks later, it would be announced that Gronkowski would be out for the season.
The Patriots lost to Seattle 31-24
Brady Nearly Fumbles Against Jets, Throws Touchdown to Mitchell
Trailing 10-3 and on the Jets five-yard line, Brady fumbled the snap picked it up and found Malcolm Mitchell in the back of the end zone for a touchdown to tie the game at ten following a Gostkowski extra point.
The Patriots would go on to win 22-17.
Shea McClellin Blocks Ravens Field Goal
The Ravens threatened to take the lead, 3-2, midway through the first quarter on a field goal attempt by kicker Justin Tucker, but New England's Shea McClellin jumped over the center and got the block. The Patriots offense scored a touchdown on their ensuing possession to take a 9-0 lead.
The Patriots would go on to win the game 30-23.
Blount Breaks Curtis Martin's Record for Rushing TDs in a Season
Running back LeGarrette Blount recorded his 15th rushing touchdown of the season in the Patriots win over Denver. With the score, he passed Curtis Martin for most rushing touchdowns in a season.
The Patriots beat Denver 16-3 to clinch AFC East.
McCourty's Hit on DeMaryius Thomas
On a fourth and 2, Devin McCourty put an end to Denver's come come back hopes with this hit on DeMaryius Thomas that forced him to drop the ball.
Had Thomas made the catch, the Broncos would have likely scored on the drive, making the final minutes a little more nervewracking.
Matt Lengel Catches First Touchdown Pass
Lengel came over to the Patriots from the Bengals practice squad and had never caught a touchdown pass in his career.
Already up 13-0, Tom Brady hit Lengel over the middle for an 18-yard touchdown pass to give the Patriots a 20-0 lead. It was Lengel's first catch, first target, and first touchdown.
The Patriots would go on to beat the Jets 41-3.
Michael Floyd's Block on Lippitt to Spring Edelman Against Miami
Michael Floyd's block on Miami's Tony Lippit to spring Julian Edelman's 77 yard touchdown is one of the greatest blocks in Patriots history.
The Patriots beat the Dolphins 35-14 to clinch the top seed in the AFC heading into the playoffs.
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