New England Patriots

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.

More from 985TheSportsHub.com…

Bill Belichick fields questions on Malcolm Butler, free agency and more

  • It’s been a while since reporters have had direct access to Belichick, and there’s plenty to ask the Patriots head coach about since the start of the 2022 off-season. Belichick was his typical concise self, but took the time at the NFL league meeting to field questions about the whole range of Patriots topics. Here are the most notable things Belichick addressed, in so many words.

    On the return of Malcolm Butler…

    Malcolm Butler #21 of the New England Patriots reacts with Eric Rowe #25 after intercepting Jared Goff #16 of the Los Angeles Rams during the first half at Gillette Stadium on December 4, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

    Malcolm Butler #21 of the New England Patriots reacts with Eric Rowe #25 after intercepting Jared Goff #16 of the Los Angeles Rams during the first half at Gillette Stadium on December 4, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

    On re-signing Butler: “He indicated a desire to play this year, and we worked through the process with Malcolm like we do with every player. Obviously we know him, but he came up [for a visit] and, so, we signed him. Look forward to having him back.”

    On Super Bowl LII: “That’s all old news.”

    On his relationship with Butler now: “Good, great, glad to have him back.”

  • On free agency…

    Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots looks on against the Buffalo Bills during the first half in the AFC Wild Card playoff game at Highmark Stadium on January 15, 2022 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)

    Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots looks on against the Buffalo Bills during the first half in the AFC Wild Card playoff game at Highmark Stadium on January 15, 2022 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)

    On the lack of spending this year: “Spent a lot of money last year. Those guys are all young, they’re under contract.”

    On the future outlook for the roster: “I think some of the players that we have on the roster, hopefully, will take a step up. But we’ll see. We’ll have other players, there will be new players here. See what happens with them.”

  • On the offensive coaching staff…

    Head Coach Joe Judge of the New York Giants leaves the field after being defeated by the Washington Football Team 22-7 at MetLife Stadium on January 09, 2022 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

    Head Coach Joe Judge of the New York Giants leaves the field after being defeated by the Washington Football Team 22-7 at MetLife Stadium on January 09, 2022 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

    On Joe Judge and Matt Patricia coaching the offense: “Great to have Joe Judge back, and Matt [Patricia], of course. They’re two really good coaches, along with some of the other coaches we have offensively, [tight ends coach] Nick Caley, [wide receivers/kick returners coach] Troy [Brown], and so forth, guys that were here last year. We’re working through it. [We’ll] do the best we can here.”

    On replacing Josh McDaniels: “I think Matt and Joe are pretty good coaches. Josh is a great coach, but we’ve gone through that in multiple years.”

    On the assistants’ specific roles: “Everybody will have a defined role, like they always do. Again, the off-season’s the off-season. Once we get to getting on the field, coaching the players, game-planning and things like that, that’ll all work itself out.”

    On who’s calling the offensive plays: “We won’t be calling any for a while. I don’t know any games that are on.”

    On giving official titles: “I’m not big on titles. We have jobs to do. We’ll do the jobs.”

  • On Matt Patricia’s role…

    Senior football advisor Matt Patricia of the New England Patriots stands on the field before their game against the Dallas Cowboys at Gillette Stadium on October 17, 2021 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

    Senior football advisor Matt Patricia of the New England Patriots stands on the field before their game against the Dallas Cowboys at Gillette Stadium on October 17, 2021 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

    “Broad role, very broad. He does a lot of things, helps me a lot of ways. … He does a lot of things, he has a lot of experience, he’s done things when he was here and of course he had experience in Detroit, then last year, things like the COVID rules and that type of thing. Matt’s had a lot of different roles for us. Like I said, he’s been a big help to me and the organization.”

  • On new Director of Player Personnel Matt Groh…

    Dec 6, 2021; Orchard Park, New York, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick gestures to quarterback Mac Jones (not pictured) against the Buffalo Bills during the second half at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

    Dec 6, 2021; Orchard Park, New York, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick gestures to quarterback Mac Jones (not pictured) against the Buffalo Bills during the second half at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

    “Matt’s done a tremendous job for us. Very smart, very detailed. Obviously has a great football background with his dad, his family, growing up in football. Scouted multiple areas for us. He’s had multiple responsibilities, from area scouts on the west coast, to the southeast. Regional scout, national scout, and really put the draft together last year as the director of college scouting.

    “With Dave [Ziegler] leaving, I feel like he’s the best person to step into the personnel job, and he’s done a great job. He’s as good as anybody we’ve had in that position.”

  • On Tom Brady un-retiring…

    Jan 23, 2022; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) reacts during the first half against the Los Angeles Rams in a NFC Divisional playoff football game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

    Jan 23, 2022; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) reacts during the first half against the Los Angeles Rams in a NFC Divisional playoff football game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

    “You’ll have to talk to Tom about all that. But Tom’s played a long time, nothing he does surprises me.”

  • On the Shaq Mason trade…

    Shaq Mason of the New England Patriots gets ready for a play in the second quarter against the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium on October 31, 2021 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)

    Shaq Mason of the New England Patriots gets ready for a play in the second quarter against the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium on October 31, 2021 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)

    “Felt like that was in the best interest [of] the team.”

  • On whether they tried to keep JC Jackson…

    Aug 19, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New England Patriots defensive back J.C. Jackson (27) against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

    Aug 19, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New England Patriots defensive back J.C. Jackson (27) against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

    “Sure, we talked to all our players, we talked to all our free-agent players, we re-signed quite a few and some we didn’t re-sign.”

  • On the Brian Flores lawsuit…

    Head coach Brian Flores of the Miami Dolphins takes the field during introductions prior to the game against the New England Patriots at Hard Rock Stadium on January 09, 2022 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

    Head coach Brian Flores of the Miami Dolphins takes the field during introductions prior to the game against the New England Patriots at Hard Rock Stadium on January 09, 2022 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

    “I can’t comment on it.”

  • On potential changes to overtime rules…

    Oct 17, 2021; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver CeeDee Lamb (88) makes the catch and runs the ball for the game winning touchdown against the New England Patriots in overtime at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

    Oct 17, 2021; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver CeeDee Lamb (88) makes the catch and runs the ball for the game winning touchdown against the New England Patriots in overtime at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

    “There was a little bit of discussion [Sunday]. I’m sure there will be more discussion, see what everybody has to say. … I mean, there’s a lot of different arguments for various proposals, gonna sort them out here.”

  • On re-signing Trent Brown…

    Aug 19, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New England Patriots offensive tackle Trent Brown (77) against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

    Aug 19, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New England Patriots offensive tackle Trent Brown (77) against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

    “Good to have Trent Brown back, yeah, glad we were able to work it out. Glad we were able to work it out with all the players we re-signed. … He played well when he played [in 2021], he missed half the year, so hopefully we’ll be able to get more play time from him this year. But, he’s a quality player.”

  • On Josh McDaniels leaving for the Raiders and taking others with him…

    Josh McDaniels of the New England Patriots stands on the field prior to the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on November 18, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

    Josh McDaniels of the New England Patriots stands on the field prior to the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on November 18, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

    “Yeah, no. I mean, Josh is a great coach. I’m sure that he feels like it’s a great opportunity, that’s why he took it. Other than against us, I hope he does well. I’m sure he will do well. He’s an outstanding coach and some of the people that are with him, they’re very good, too. But it all worked out well.

    “It was an opportunity we couldn’t provide. He’ll be hard to replace, but like I said, I feel like we have really good coaches on our staff and that’s what we’ll do.”


NEXT: Who are the Patriots watching at the Alabama Pro Day?