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Malcolm Butler Returns to New England

Malcolm Butler and the New England Patriots have reportedly agreed to a two-year deal worth up to $9 million. This will be Butler’s second stint in New England after leaving the Patriots during free agency in 2017. He joined the Patriots in 2014 as an undrafted free agent. Butler has been famously praised for securing the game ending interception during Super Bowl XLIX versus the Seattle Seahawks. Butler was also notably benched on defense in the 41-33 Super Bowl LII loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. While fans never got a direct answer to why Butler was benched, I hope this two-year deal is enough to put the past behind them.

The Butler Returns Home

After spending days worrying about what the future looks like for the Patriots, the return of Malcolm Butler is a welcomed one. The addition of Tyreek Hill in Miami may have had a bit to do with bringing another cornerback to New England. 

Has He Lost a Step?

Butler spent the entirety of the 2021 NFL Season on the reserve/retired list as a member of the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals released him from the reserve/retired list on February 17th, leaving him free to sign with any team. After not seeing any playing time since his 2020 season with the Titans, it’s fair to ponder if Butler lost a step. During the last 3 seasons, He gave up receptions just 63% of the time, not horrible. Last season with Tennessee, Butler totaled 4 interceptions for 111 yards. He only missed 10 tackles in the 2020 season, according to pro-football-reference. Only time will tell if Butler is the same as his previous seasons. 

Final Thoughts

All-in-all, I think this is a great, team-friendly addition for New England’s secondary. After JC Jackson signed with the Los Angeles Chargers, the cornerback room was looking a little sad. Adding a veteran cornerback already familiar with some of the players and, more importantly, the head coach is great for the Patriots. It will be interesting to see how Butler progresses throughout the Spring and Summer months as he gets back into game-ready shape.

Welcome back home, Malcolm Butler!

-Jess Donahue (@jldx392)

Featured Image: Mark J. Rebilas – USA Today Sports

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