Pro Football Focus recently named the Top 10 defensive free agents this offseason. Near the top of the list was Malcolm Butler of the New England Patriots.
As the offseason gets rolling, Pro Football Focus recently named the top 10 defensive free agents. As expected, the New England Patriots had their cornerback Malcolm Butler make the list of top free agent defensive players.
The relationship between Butler and the Patriots has certainly been an interesting one in the past few years. Butler burst on the scene for the Patriots with one of the most memorable plays in Super Bowl history. The interception against the Seahawks helped secure the Patriots a Super Bowl win, and it also made him a household name.
Since then, Butler has become a very good cornerback in the NFL. While he might not be at the elite level, Butler is certainly capable of shutting down some of the top wide receivers in the league. As we get closer to the start of free agency, Butler is going to be one of the top cornerbacks on the market.
Recently, Pro Football Focus named Butler as one of the top defensive players in free agency this offseason. Here’s what they had to say about him.
"The much-maligned Super Bowl benching and subsequent fallout has been well documented for the Patriots cornerback, but one thing remains clear: Butler be a sought-after cornerback in a CB-heavy free agent class. Butler may have seen a spike in his passer rating on throws into his coverage this season, but when he’s at his best, he’s a true cover corner. He has a nose for the football and through just four seasons, he has recorded a total of 55 plays on the ball (five interceptions, 46 PBUs)."
According to Pro Football Focus, Butler received a solid grade of 79.2 for the season and was ranked as the 51st best cornerback in the NFL. Compared to 2015 and 2016, it was a down season for Butler.
One of the major issues for Butler has been allowing big plays over the course of his career. While he shows the ability to be a great cover corner, he sometimes loses his man, resulting in a big play.
Due to Butler being benched in the Super Bowl, he will almost certainly not be back with the Patriots next season. With a lot of questions about what happened that day, it could affect the contract of Butler. However, he has put together three solid seasons with the Patriots. As one of the top free agents on the defensive side of the ball, Butler should get a good contract offer this offseason. Just don’t expect it to come from the Patriots.