Adam Butler’s comments on free agency indicate Patriots need to act quickly
By Jerry Trotta
The New England Patriots will have a ton on their plate this offseason in terms of bolstering their roster after they finished with their worst regular season record in two decades.
While the offense has garnered most of the publicity as far as a need for talent, the defense can stand to welcome reinforcements after the inconsistent season they put together in 2020.
The group’s stats might look decent on paper, but anybody who watched the Patriots on a weekly basis knows their defense was bang average, especially when it came to getting after opposing quarterbacks.
As a result, they simply cannot afford to lose any of their proven pass rushers who are getting set to enter free agency.
Former undrafted talent Adam Butler falls under that category, and if his latest comments about his expiring contract sent any sort of message to the front office, it’s that general manager Bill Belichick needs to press the issue if he has any intention of brining him back this offseason.
Patriots DT Adam Butler won’t stick around if the team doesn’t approach him about a contract extension.
These comments prove that Butler has already made up his mind about pursuing the most lucrative contract available, and he’s honestly earned that right. Despite being deployed as a rotational piece on the defensive line (mostly as a DT) throughout his career, the Vanderbilt product has been one of the Patriots’ most productive players up front.
Over the last two seasons, Butler has contributed 60 tackles (14 for a loss), 16 QB hits, four sacks, and seven passes defended. Those numbers obviously don’t jump off the screen, but they aren’t bad for an interior defensive lineman by any stretch, and they don’t come close to encapsulating the 26-year-old’s full impact on defense.
As for good news for Patriots fans who are firm believers in Butler’s potential, Evan Lazar of CLNS Media reported this week that there’s mutual interest between both sides in reaching a deal that would confirm the four-year pro’s return to Foxborough. That provides hope Butler will consult with the Patriots before any other potential suitor.
When you consider that Lawrence Guy and Deatrich Wise Jr., both of whom Butler has had to compete with for snaps over the last few seasons, are also set to become unrestricted free agents, the Patriots really have all the reason in the world to try to retain the 6-foot-5, 300-pound DT.
The bottom line here is that Butler is a proven commodity against both the run and the pass, and the Patriots need all the in-house talent and experience they can get as Belichick and Co. prepare to make seismic changes to the front seven.