Tuesday, 25 September, 2018

Former Patriots corner Malcolm Butler to sign five-year deal with Titans

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Kristopher Love | 14 March, 2018, 01:04

It was just over a month ago that Butler didn't play a single snap for Patricia's Patriots defense in Super Bowl LII, a curious move that no has really explained following New England's 41-33 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

An overlooked prospect in 2014 out of Division II West Alabama, he was invited to New England for a tryout and earned a contract on the offseason 90-man roster nearly a month after the draft.

The two-time Super Bowl champion will officially sign with the Titans on Wednesday, according to a source.

Despite Butler's sudden stardom, Belichick said at one point in 2015 that Butler "as much as any player that I've been around, has really not changed very much from Year 1 to Year 2". Despite the Lions appearing to be in the finals of the Butler sweepstakes, the rising cornerback is signing with the Titans instead. They committed $61 million ($30M guaranteed) over five years, a rather large investment considering Butler's benching at the Super Bowl and his up-and-down performance in 2017. In essence, Belichick decided that safety Jordan Richards (first half) and cornerback Johnson Bademosi (second half) gave the Patriots a better chance to win as the sixth defensive back in the dime package over Butler, who had played 98 percent of the defensive snaps in the regular season. Teammates nicknamed him "Strap" because of his ability to closely cover receivers and also "Scrap" for his scrappy style of play. Butler is a well-known commodity to his new coaching and front office staffs; Mike Vrabel, a former Patriots linebacker will be his new head coach, while a former Patriots personnel staffer, Jon Robinson, is his new general manager.

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