Jim Rogash / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The New England Patriots have placed a first-round tender worth $3.91 million on cornerback Malcolm Butler, who is a restricted free agent this offseason, sources told Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald.

Butler had just finished a three-year, $1.53-million contract, so it’s a substantial pay increase for the 27-year-old, though still far below his market worth.

Under the tender, the Patriots have the right to match any offer for Butler. If they opt not to, New England receives a first-round pick.

Butler has cemented himself as a legitimate No. 1 cornerback with back-to-back strong seasons after he burst onto the scene with a game-winning interception in Super Bowl XLIX.