WEDNESDAY, 8:42am: Butler’s new two-year deal with the Cardinals calls for base salaries of $700K and $1MM, per Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic (Twitter link). Those annual figures fall short of the $1.2MM per-year average initially reported by Getlin, so perhaps there are additional bonuses or incentives that increase the overall value of the contract. Somers notes that the pact doesn’t feature a signing bonus.
MONDAY, 10:50am: The Cardinals have re-signed punter Drew Butler, who had been on track to become a restricted free agent, the team announced today in a press release. According to Rand Getlin of the NFL Network (Twitter link), Butler’s new deal is a two-year contract that pays him $1.2MM annually.
Butler, who started his career with the Steelers, took over as the Cardinals’ full-time punter in 2014 and hung onto the job last season. On 60 attempts in 2015, Butler averaged 42.9 yards per punt, with a 35.4 net-yard average and just six touchbacks. While the 26-year-old figures to enter the 2016 season atop the Cardinals’ punter depth chart, the team could bring in another player to compete with him.
Assuming Getlin’s report on the terms of Butler’s new deal is accurate, it looks like a pretty good price for the Cardinals — a $1.2MM per-year salary barely places Butler within the top 20 highest-paid players at the position, per Over the Cap.
Still, since he had only been eligible for restricted free agency, it makes sense that Butler would be open to accepting an offer that will likely give him a modest guarantee and a little security. Had the Cardinals assigned a low-end RFA tender to him, he would be in line for a slightly larger annual salary (around $1.5MM), but it would only be for one season, and would be fully non-guaranteed.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.