Arizona Cardinals sign Malcolm Butler to one-year deal
The Arizona Cardinals found Patrick Peterson’s replacement after signing former Super Bowl hero Malcolm Butler to a one-year deal.
Butler finished the 2020 season with 100 tackles and four interceptions for the Tennessee Titans. According to Pro Football Focus, he earned a 75.8 coverage grade last season, ranking him 15th among defensive backs.
His career year in 2020 also saw him finish first among cornerbacks in fewest receptions and targets allowed, and top 10 in fewest yards and touchdowns allowed.
Butler is most notably known for getting the game-winning interception against NFC West foe Russell Wilson in the final seconds of Super Bowl XLIX, helping his former team, the New England Patriots, secure its fourth championship. After his heroics, the 31-year-old played two more seasons for the Patriots before being benched by head coach Bill Belichick.
In 2018, Butler signed a five-year, $61 million deal with the Titans, but only ended up playing three seasons before Tennessee released Butler. In those three seasons, he played 41 games and had nine interceptions, with two of them being returned for touchdowns.
With Peterson signing with the Vikings earlier this week, and Dre Kirkpatrick not coming back, Butler joins Byron Murphy and Robert Alford as the only cornerbacks on the team. Murphy will more than likely stay as the slot corner, as he performed well in that position last season. Alford has yet to play a single game for Arizona despite being on the team since 2018. This leaves the Cardinals to sign another free agent corner to pair with Butler, or draft one in April.
According to multiple outlets, the Cardinals are looking at Patrick Surtain II from Alabama, Jaycee Horn from South Carolina, or Tyson Campbell from Georgia. Whoever is available for Arizona at 16, general manager Steve Keim should make the move to draft a top cornerback to have for the next 10 years.