Malcolm Butler has a good chance of staying with the Patriots in 2017. Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots have continued to explore the possibility of trading Malcolm Butler now that he has signed his restricted free agent tender, but they ultimately may end up holding onto the star cornerback.

According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, the Patriots will continue to talk with the Saints about a possible trade, but there’s a chance they simply won’t agree on a price.

La Canfora also notes that in the off chance the Patriots end up trading Jimmy Garoppolo and acquiring a bundle of high draft picks, they may alter their stance on Butler.

The Saints could have signed Butler to an offer sheet when he was a restricted free agent and given up the No. 11 pick as compensation, so you know they will be looking for a better deal than that. New England also chose to send its first-round pick — No. 32 overall — to New Orleans in exchange for star wide receiver Brandin Cooks. If the Patriots get that pick back now in a trade for Butler, it would seem like both sides went through an unnecessary step.

The way Bill Belichick has been preparing for the draft has led some to assume he is planning on trading Butler and/or Garoppolo. You can read more about that here.

Should the Patriots keep Butler, they would pair him alongside newly-signed cornerback Stephon Gilmore and have arguably the best defensive backfield in the league.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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