This is great news for both parties. Butler is one of our high priority free agents we have this year, the other being Dont’a Hightower. Butler is a lot easier for the Patriots organization to resign because of the position and the free agent options at that position. The franchise tag price difference between Linebacker and Corner-back may be slim, but now it will be a lot easier to resign Butler because many teams may be unwilling to give up their first round pick.
If no one makes an offer on Butler his $3.91 million price tag is nothing to be concerned with. As well as a nice $3.31 million raise for the star Corner-back. Along with that $3.91 million tag is quite a bargain compared to the well over $10 million increase with the franchise tag. The importance of Butler is more significant as well, with the probability of Logan Ryan and Duron Harmon testing the market. It is important that we keep the some of the core of our secondaries before we put all our full faith in guys like Eric Rowe and Cyrus Jones.
Free Agency is starting to not look all negative with this progress, but Hightower still worries me because of the key roles he has played in our last two Super Bowl victories.
This is encouraging but i can not imagine a Patriots team without having our signal calling Hightower. The best we can hope for is a Devin McCourty situation, where he hears offers during the legal tampering period and signs with the team of a discount.