It’s a practical close that Butler has played his final down for New England. He’ll turn an unlimited giveaway representative in March, uninformed off being benched in a Super Bowl.
Butler all but confirmed it himself, pity his greeting to ESPN reporters to what his manager Bill Belichick called a “football decision.”
Patriots’ CB Malcolm Butler to ESPN’s @MikeReiss: “They gave adult on me. F—. It is what it is.”
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 5, 2018
There’s no doubt Butler’s value and cachet was a bit arrogant during his time with a Patriots. He grown from undrafted rookie into plain starter after his famed interception of Russell Wilson to sign a Super Bowl feat in 2015. Butler earned a outing to a Pro Bowl with plain coverage in a ’15 season, and he was a superb ballhawk in 2016.
But Butler struggled in 2017. He was unprotected as not being a loyal shutdown dilemma during 5-11, 190 pounds. Playing conflicting newly signed No. 1 dilemma Stephon Gilmore, there was a vivid disproportion between a two. Now 27, Butler will wish to find a happy home on a new group in a some-more gentle role.
So, where competence Butler play in 2018 and beyond? Here are 5 teams that could use services.
NFL giveaway agency: What’s subsequent for Malcolm Butler?
The Bears have a plain large dilemma in maestro Prince Amukamara and they defended defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, who likes to brew adult his coverage. That would concede Butler to get the best out of his section and man-to-man skills though being overwhelmed.
The Raiders were officious terrible during this position in 2017, and Jon Gruden is a form of manager who’s prepared for a miscarry experiment. It’s a position of apocalyptic need and Butler feels like a good fit for new defensive coordinator Paul Guenther’s hybrid intrigue on a behind end. Guenther did good work with defensive backs while underneath Marvin Lewis in Cincinnati, particularly with a likewise sized William Jackson.
San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers like a guarantee of Ahkello Witherspoon (6-2, 195) entrance off a plain rookie season, and could use a interrelated cover male on a other side. They have copiousness of income to spend and should wish to residence dilemma in giveaway agency.
This would feel a bit uncanny given Butler’s high indicate in history, though presumption Richard Sherman comes behind healthy and is means to play during a high turn in his age-30 season, a group would be in a marketplace for a No. 2 corner. Butler should be a aim for Ken Norton Jr. and Pete Carroll.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bucs have 2016 first-round collect Vernon Hargreaves III returning from a season-curbing hamstring injury, and 34-year-old Brent Grimes will be a giveaway agent. They could try bringing in Butler for a struggling section brief on depth.