Cardinals cornerback Malcolm Butler is considering hanging up his cleats. NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reports (via Twitter) that the veteran is “dealing with a personal situation that has him mulling retirement.”
As Garofolo notes, the situation led to Butler being away from team facilities within the last week. The cornerback is still trying to work his way through the situation, and both retirement or “stepping away from the game” remain options. The Cardinals did not provide a comment to Garafolo, while the player’s agent didn’t respond to calls.
After getting cut by the Titans earlier this offseason, Butler inked a fully guaranteed $3.25MM deal with the Cardinals. The 31-year-old was expected to play a key role in Arizona’s secondary. If the veteran does indeed step away from the game, the team could be forced to turn to rookie fourth-round pick Marco Wilson or veteran Robert Alford to fill in as a starter.
Butler, 31, finished 2020 as Pro Football Focus’ No. 15 corner in the NFL. It was a strong return — he missed much of 2019, but he suited up for all 16 games last year while nabbing four interceptions and 100 total tackles (a new career high). All in all, he posted the lowest yards-per-completion and yards-per-target numbers of his Tennessee tenure.
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