Malcolm Butler will leave Patriots for $61M deal with Titans

Florence Fletcher
March 14, 2018

The New Orleans Saints, who considered trying to acquire Butler before trading wide receiver Brandin Cooks to the Patriots a year ago, have shown a renewed interest, per Dianna Russini of ESPN.

According to the NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Titans will sign Butler to a five-year deal worth $61 million, with $30 million guaranteed.

Butler was released by the Patriots after a season in which he tallied 55 tackles, two interceptions and 12 passes defensed. Additionally, Butler joins a former Patriots teammate in Tennessee's secondary, Logan Ryan, who signed with the Titans last spring. He'll play for former Patriots linebacker Mike Vrabel and former Pats personnel man Jon Robinson, who are now the Titans' head coach and general manager, respectively. And though the contract is a pricey one, the Titans had over $50 million in cap space to spend this year, so Butler does not break their bank just yet.

Butler was also part of the Patriots' Super Bowl LI 34-28 overtime victory against the Atlanta Falcons. Between those career landmarks, Butler started 54 of a possible 55 games and played more defensive snaps than any Patriots player.

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The two-time champion and hero of Super Bowl XLIX was controversially benched by Bill Belichick in Super Bowl LII in a decision that split the locker room and all but guaranteed that Butler will play elsewhere in 2018.

Entering the league as an undrafted free agent in 2014, he earned a Pro Bowl selection in 2015 and second-team All-Pro honors in 2016.

Butler's departure leaves the Patriots with a need at cornerback this offseason.

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