As much as I would hate to see the Patriots trade a young stud cornerback in his prime, this would be the ultimate wink-wink trade between Bill Belichick and good friend Sean Payton.
I mean, the Patriots trade their only 1st round pick to the Saints for Brandin Cooks, who was originally rumored to be demanding a much higher price tag. Then not long after that trade becomes official, the rumors start to fly about the Patriots trading Malcolm Butler to the Saints for a 1st round pick. The 32nd overall pick. The same exact pick the Patriots just traded to the Saints.
Basically, if this trade were to go through, the Pats essentially traded Malcolm Butler and a 3rd round pick to the Saints for Brandin Cooks and a 4th rounder, with the 32nd overall pick coming back to New England. With all the subtle shit the Pats try and pull to get around the rules, I cannot believe that I don’t hear people screaming from the rooftops about collusion.
Remember when the NBA just straight up nixed the Hornets’ Chris Paul trade to the Lakers just because? Legit just said, nope fuck that you’re not getting Chris Paul. Or even the more directly relevant situation, when the Celtics basically tried to trade Doc Rivers and Kevin Garnett to the Clippers for DeAndre Jordan and the NBA shut that down too. The NBA didn’t like the fact that the C’s were combining a player and a coach in a deal so they nixed the deal. The C’s later dealt Doc to the Clippers for a 1st round pick (with both KG and DeAndre being removed), but if Doc to the Clippers and KG to the clippers were two separate deals from the start no one would have said shit, but because they were combined into one deal initially the NBA didn’t like it and basically screwed the Celtics out of any shot of landing DeAndre for KG later because the league viewed it as collusion; a quid pro quo deal based around the Doc deal. Total horse shit.
Maybe thats what Belichick learned. The guy is an elephant. Separate the deals. Leave no room for opposition and then execute ruthlessly. Dude is like a Lannister really. I guess no one is bitching because Butler getting traded actually makes the Patriots worse, not better. But keep your ears open. The Patriots are “always cheating” so its only a matter of time until that narrative comes up again.