Malcolm Butler wasn't at Patriots OTAs last Thursday and therefore didn't speak with the gathered media that afternoon in Foxborough.
But, the Pro Bowl cornerback's contract situation has still been a hot topic this week and various sources are getting thoughts about the young defender's deal out in the media.
Sunday, ESPNBoston.com reported that Butler has told friends and teammates that he plans to push for a new deal, leading to speculation that last week's practice absence might be related to the fact that he's in the final year of his rookie contract.
Monday, the Boston Herald reported that Butler is "expected" to return to OTA practice this week at Gillette Stadium and that last week's absence was not related to his contract. In fact, the *Herald *said the sides have not even begun negotiations on a potential new contract for the former undrafted rookie.
The Herald has Jimmy Garoppolo's father noting that the Patriots backup has been learning a lot working behind Tom Brady. The Herald also talks to recently-retired linebacker Jerod Mayo about his new business career and a possible future back in the game of football, with the former All-Pro leaving the door open for a job on the NFL sidelines. "Maybe down the road," Mayo says.
In the legal world, the Herald also has a breakdown of briefs filed by noted mediator Kenneth Feinberg as well as the AFl-CIO in Brady's pending appeal of his four-game Deflategate suspension.
In that light, the Boston Globe looks at what has gone on with the never-ending Deflategate sage over the last 500 – yes 500! – days. The Globe also notes that the Pawtucket Red Sox minor league baseball team will have a "Free Brady" Night on June 10, with people named "Tom" or "Brady" getting free admission to the game.
ESPNBoston.com also looks back at the last year-plus of Deflategate, but from the perspective of how well Brady performed with the scandal continuing to play out in the courts and media.
ESPN came up with something called a World Fame 100 list of athletes from around the globe and a pair of Patriots made the cut with Brady at No. 52 and Rob Gronkowski at No. 72. The ranking seems a little low for No. 12. The site also has the *AP *story on the AFL-CIO filing in the Brady case.
WEEI.com does a little research in regards to what a potential Butler contract extension might look like.
CSNNE.com joins the list of those looking back, the site using a sunny day as the impetus to go all the way back to Brady's first Super Bowl win and all that's happened to TB12 since that famed February day in New Orleans.
NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks, best known for his click-bait decision to leave the Patriots off his recent list of the 10 most talented NFL teams, is back at it with another ranking. This time, Brooks says the Patriots tight ends corps led by Gronkowski is the No. 5 scariest position group in the league heading into 2016.
NFL.com also curiously says that defensive tackle is the Patriots biggest weak spot heading into 2016.
MassLive.com looks at how the Seahawks might use Brandon Browner this fall, Seattle potentially taking a page out of how Bill Belichick employed the oversized cornerback in New England.