March 9 (UPI) -- The New England Patriots are in deep discussions with New Orleans about shipping Pro Bowl cornerback Malcolm Butler to the Saints for wide receiver Brandin Cooks, according to multiple reports on Thursday.
The two teams have previously considered this deal but the Patriots' decision to add Pro Bowl cornerback Stephon Gilmore earlier Thursday appears to have rekindled the possible trade.
Butler is a restricted free agent who New England tendered at $3.91 million earlier this week. Talks toward a long-term deal haven't been fruitful.
The 27-year-old has been a fan favorite since intercepting Seattle's Russell Wilson at the goal line to clinch the Patriots' victory in Super Bowl XLIX following the 2014 campaign.
Butler intercepted four passes in 2016 and has six in 43 regular-season games over three seasons.
Cooks caught 78 passes for 1,173 yards and eight touchdowns last season. It was his second straight 1,000-yard campaign as he caught 84 passes for 1,138 yards and nine scores in 2015.
The 23-year-old has 215 career receptions for 2,861 yards and 20 touchdowns, and would upgrade New England's receiving corps.
Cooks is scheduled to make $1.563 million this season in the final year of his four-year rookie contract.
The Tennessee Titans have also inquired about Cooks.