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Playing on an RFA tender in 2021, Butler logged four sacks, seven QB hits, and 38 total tackles in 15 games. He had a career-high six sacks and nine QB hits the year before. Butler has proven to be a solid interior pass-rusher for the Patriots and would make sense to retain on a low-cost extension.

Defensive tackle Adam Butler is one of the Patriots’ key internal free agents to watch for 2021. According to Evan Lazar of CLNS Media, the Patriots want Butler back and there’s mutual interest in “orchestrating a return.”

Butler has developed into a solid rotational interior pass-rusher since signing with the Patriots as an undrafted free agent in 2017. He logged four sacks and seven QB hits in 2020, despite playing in only 47.3 percent of defensive snaps. The year before, he made a career-high six sacks and nine QB hits.

The Patriots could stand to add a more impactful talent on the defensive line instead of depending on Butler to be their top pass-rusher. Shortcomings in that group have been part of the Patriots’ downfall the past two seasons. But Butler is still a valuable piece that’s worth keeping. The Patriots would know what they’re getting and wouldn’t have to break the bank to retain Butler’s services.

MORE: 11 free agents to watch for the Patriots defense

Ty Anderson and I talked a lot about the Patriots’ offseason and what to do in free agency as part of a recent episode of the SideLines podcast. You can listen below, starting at 47:39.

MORE: The Patriots’ Most Important Internal Free Agents For 2021

Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @mattydsays. You can also email him at mdolloff@985thesportshub.com.

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