Patriots must really like Davon Godchaux over Adam Butler based on contract details

Patriots DT Davon Godchaux (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
Patriots DT Davon Godchaux (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images) /

The New England Patriots have been full of surprises in free agency thus far.

After all, they’ve spent more than any other team by a significant margin, which is uncharted territory for them.

As far as unexpected moves go, bringing back David Andrews came as a massive shock to the fan base.

Not only did longtime teammate Julian Edelman say goodbye to him on social media, but he reportedly had already met with a handful of potential suitors and it was assumed he’d be leaving.

That reunion will likely go down as the offseason’s greatest eye-opener, but we would point to the Patriots’ willingness to let defensive tackle Adam Butler walk and sign with the Dolphins, who were also in the running to sign Andrews, after another impressive season, as quite the surprise.

The Patriots, of course, signed former Dolphin Davon Godchaux to replace Butler, and the defensive line honestly shouldn’t skip a beat in terms of production. However, if you take a look at their new contracts, it’s clear New England rates Godchaux significantly higher than Butler.

Davon Godchaux’s contract details with the Patriots prove they liked him more than Adam Butler.

Though you can certainly make the case that Godchaux has more upside than Butler, the fact that the former blows the latter away in literally every major contract detail proves the Patriots are taking a massive leap of faith in the former Phin. That notion increases ten-fold when you take a look at their respective stats.

Godchaux was limited to just five games last season due to a torn biceps and he wasn’t entirely productive in 2019. Across 16 games, the former fifth-round pick finished with 75 tackles, which is admittedly impressive for an interior DL, but logged just two sacks, seven QB hits and eight pressures while playing 64% of the defensive snaps for Miami.

Butler, meanwhile, logged 34 tackles, four sacks, seven QB hits, 15 pressures and two passes defended with just a 47% snap share last season. That came after he registered six sacks, nine QB hits and five passes defended in 2019, proving that he was the Patriots’ most effective lineman over the last two seasons.

Taking those stats into consideration, it would appear Bill Belichick wanted more of a run-stuffer in Godchaux, who, as evidenced by his 75 tackles in 2019, has the athleticism to make plays all over the field, than re-signing a player in Butler, who is clearly more effective getting after the quarterback.

A lot of the contracts the Patriots have doled out this offseason have reflected their desperation to get back into the playoffs in 2021, and Godchaux, at least in comparison to Butler’s deal, falls right under that category.