Malcolm Butler and Logan Ryan are reuniting. This time, it’s in Tennessee. Butler intends to sign with the Titans when free agency formally opens on Wednesday, according to ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). Butler gets a five-year contract worth more than $61MM, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). The deal includes more than $30M guaranteed.
Butler had interest from multiple teams, including the Texans and the Saints. The Jets, who are said to be seeking two starting-caliber corners, also likely had Butler high atop their list. A return to incumbent Patriots, meanwhile, seemed unlikely after Butler was benched for the overwhelming majority of the Super Bowl.
Had Butler reached unrestricted free agency last offseason, he would have had piles of money thrown at him. However, he was a restricted free agent and the Pats prevented him from joining the Saints when they could not agree to terms on a trade. This time around, Butler was an unfettered free agent and still got paid oodles of money, despite coming off of a down year.
Butler will now collect more than the tentative agreement — four years, ~$50MM — that he’d agreed to with the Saints in 2017. The Patriots, meanwhile, never offered Butler more than $7MM annually.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.