Vernon Butler, DL, Carolina Panthers
2018 stats: 19 tackles, 2.0 sacks, 0 tackles for loss, 4 quarterback hits
Who’s Vernon Butler? A 2016 first-round pick that has failed to live up to the hype in a crowded defensive line. In 38 career games, Butler has tallied just 45 tackles and 2.0 sacks. However, he does have the potential to be an impact player.
At 6-4, 330-pounds, Butler has a sturdy frame, meaning he could play at both 4-3 defensive tackle or 3-4 defensive end. He’s a naturally athletic big man that can win on sheer power and quickness alone, but his game is far from developed. Butler will need to continue to work on his technique to get to the next level.
Why would the Panthers trade him? After signing Dontari Poe to pair with Kawann Short in 2018, there just isn’t a need for Butler on the roster as a 4-3 defensive tackle. His game isn’t developed enough to be a 4-3 end, so he’s found himself buried in their depth chart. They also might also want to rid themselves from a first-rounder that hasn’t quite worked out in three seasons.
How much would it cost? Like Cole, Butler will be a free agent next March, which hurts his trade value. His lack of success in the NFL does the same, which means the Cardinals might be able to acquire him for a later pick in 2019 or mid-round pick in 2020. His 2019 cap hit would be $1.6 million as the Panthers would have to eat $1 million in cap to trade him, per Over The Cap.