As Malcolm Butler returns to Foxboro, his play on the field will largely determine how much of his contract money he receives.
In total, the 32-year-old cornerback signed a two-year deal for up to $9 million with the Patriots. But, according to Ben Volin, only $750,000 will be guaranteed, with $500,000 of that coming from his signing bonus.
Butler can make anywhere in the range of $2.5 million to $4.5 million per year on the deal. In each season, the defensive back will cost a cap hit between $2.22 million and $2.75 million.
The 32-year-old’s journey has taken a few twists and turns on his way back to Foxboro. Butler played three years of a five-year contract with the Titans, which included a 2020 season in which he started every game and made 100 tackles and four interceptions.
Butler’s first stint in New England included two Super Bowl rings, eight interceptions, and a permanent place in football history after his game-saving interception in Super Bowl XLIX. In light of Bill Belichick’s still-stunning decision to bench Butler on defense in Super Bowl LII, his return for a second stint in New England came as a surprise. Belichick described the infamous Super Bowl benching as “old news” in his most recent press conference.
After being released by Tennessee, Butler participated in 2021 training camp with the Arizona Cardinals. When he failed to make the 53-man roster, Butler announced his retirement and sat out the 2021 season, before deciding to launch a comeback and ultimately return to New England for 2022.
The former second team All-Pro adds experience and familiarity to a cornerback depth chart that includes Jalen Mills, Joejuan Williams, Shaun Wade, and fellow free-agent addition Terrance Mitchell.
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