Jake Butt is calling it career. The Bears placed the veteran tight end on the reserve-retired list today (via Aaron Wilson on Twitter).
Butt had a standout collegiate career at Michigan, earning a first-team All-American nod and a pair of first-team All-Big Ten honors. However, he also suffered a pair of torn ACLs during his time in college, and that led to him sliding to the fifth round of the 2017 draft.
Unfortunately for the tight end, it was more of the same in the NFL. Thanks mostly to continued injuries, the six-foot-six target was limited to only eight games in four seasons. After returning from his college ACL tear in 2018, Butt sustained another torn ACL, ending that season prematurely. Complications from his injury forced him to sit out the 2019 campaign, and his 2020 season was cut short thanks to a hamstring injury.
In total, the 25-year-old finished his career having hauled in 10 receptions for 90 yards in eight games (four starts). Five of those games came in 2020, with Butt appearing in 11-percent of Denver’s offensive snaps.
It was only last month that the 26-year-old caught on with the Bears. The organization may have had an inkling that this decision was coming; the team signed tight end Jesse James earlier this week. The new addition will join a depth chart that also includes Jimmy Graham, Cole Kmet, and fellow newcomers J.P. Holtz.
The Bears have invited some well-known guests to their minicamp. They are working out five players — including tight end Jake Butt, cornerback E.J. Gaines and defensive tackle Mike Pennel — at their three-day mandatory session, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune tweets.
This marks Butt’s second known workout of the offseason. The Michigan alum auditioned for the Cardinals recently. Although Butt starred for the Wolverines not that long ago, he has battled rampant injury trouble as a pro. The former Broncos draftee now has three career ACL tears, two coming in Denver, and has played in just eight games in four seasons.
Pennel leads this group in experience. The veteran interior D-lineman spent the past two years with the Chiefs, making an impact for the two-time reigning AFC champions’ run defense. Pennel, 30, played 14 games with Kansas City last season. The former Packers and Jets defender has played seven NFL seasons.
The Bears are also working out two players who recently participated in The Spring League — tight end Sal CannellaandTyrone Wheatley Jr. The team lists Wheatley as an offensive lineman, though the second-generation NFL hopeful played tight end at Michigan — as one of Butt’s backups — and Stony Brook. Chicago’s minicamp is scheduled to run through Thursday.
Jake Butt could be switching conferences. The veteran tight end worked out for the Cardinals this week, according to ESPN’s Field Yates (via Twitter).
Butt’s plight is well known. Since suffering a torn ACL during the 2016 Orange Bowl, the Michigan product hasn’t been able to stay healthy. The Broncos still selected the tight end in the fifth round of the 2017 draft, but the six-foot-six target has been limited to only eight games in four seasons.
After returning from his ACL tear in 2018, Butt sustained another torn ACL, ending that season prematurely. Complications from his injury forced him to sit out the 2019 campaign, and his 2020 season was cut short thanks to a hamstring injury.
In total, the 25-year-old has hauled in 10 receptions for 90 yards in eight games (four starts). Five of those games came this past season, with Butt appearing in 11-percent of Denver’s offensive snaps.
September 2nd, 2019 at 1:54pm CST by Zachary Links
The Broncos have placed quarterback Drew Lock, tight end Jake Butt, and running back Theo Riddick on injured reserve, per a team announcement. All three will be eligible to return to game action after eight weeks, but the Broncos can only activate up to two players from IR, not the whole trio.
As expected based on the past several weeks of talks, there will be no new collective bargaining agreement before Week 1. The parties’ latest round of discussions ended this week without much movement, and Tom Pelissero of NFL.com notes no more meetings are currently scheduled. The owners continue to push for an 18-game season, while the players want a greater revenue share than their 47% figure without adding any additional regular-season contests. But the sides have made progress on issues like increased league-minimum salaries and health and safety components, Pelissero adds. With NFL-NFLPA meetings more difficult to arrange during the season, due to players’ focuses shifting to game preparation, there is now an increased possibility we will get to 2020 without a new CBA in place. That would mean final-year-of-a-CBA rules going into place. This CBA expires after the 2020 season.
Here is the latest from around the league, as rosters continue to take shape leading up to Saturday’s cutdown:
We are now less than nine days away from the Falcons‘ opener, and it could put Julio Jones to a decision. The All-Pro wideout did not skip training camp but he would soon be set to play in games on the league’s 13th-highest-AAV receiver deal. Thomas Dimitroff said (via Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com) the team believes this process is “very close” to being completed. Jones’ current deal runs through the 2020 season.
Jake Butt has endured another setback. The Broncos tight end who has undergone three reconstructive ACL surgeries will have another knee procedure soon, James Palmer of NFL.com tweets. This will be a minor surgery on Butt’s left knee, that was operated on last year. At this point, it should be considered a safe bet Butt will land on the Broncos’ IR list. The Broncos have the former All-American under contract through 2020 and could give him another medical redshirt year of sorts by placing him on IR before finalizing their roster. Butt missed most of Denver’s preseason work.
The Texans may have their backup quarterback back soon. A.J. McCarron has resumed throwing, per Wilson, pointing to the longtime Bengals QB2 being available in Week 1. McCarron has been dealing with a thumb injury for most of August. Houston signed McCarron to a one-year, $3MM deal to be Deshaun Watson‘s backup.
Broncos TE Jake Butt just can’t seem to catch a break. The Michigan product, who looked destined to be a first- or second-round draft pick in 2017 before a torn ACL suffered in his final collegiate game caused him to fall to the fifth round, is trying to battle back from another torn ACL, which came during a walkthrough practice last September.
He looked to be making progress in that regard, as he made it back to 11-on-11 drills earlier this month and played in the Broncos’ preseason game against the Rams on Saturday. Butt even indicated that he had “turned the corner.”
But head coach Vic Fangio said today that Butt has been shut down again and will not play in Thursday’s preseason finale due to renewed problems in his knee (h/t Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk). Fangio said Butt could miss some time, and it seems that the 24-year-old may be IR-bound once again.
If Denver wants to put Butt on IR but retain the option of bringing him back at some point this season, he will need to be on the team’s initial 53-man roster before being placed on IR. We will know soon if the Broncos want to go that route.
Denver invested a first-round pick in raw but talented tight end Noah Fant this year, and Butt’s time with the Broncos may be running out. He played in three games (all starts) last year, posting eight receptions for 85 yards. That represents his only regular season action to date.