After just a month removed from winning the Super Bowl, the New England Patriots got to work this offseason, improving the roster in order to get them in the best position to repeat as champions. Even though the team is making moves, one player is not a fan of it, and that is Malcolm Bulter.
Reports have come out that Butler is not happy with his current one-year franchise tender, and wants to get paid like a top NFL cornerback. With Butler not getting the money that he wants in New England, should the team let Butler walk and get something in return?
Coming out of the University Of West Alabama, Butler was not talked about leading up to the 2014 NFL Draft. After being undrafted, Butler signed a contract with the Patriots. The decision to sign with the team as an undrafted free agent would be the best career move for him.
After signing in New England, in his rookie season, Butler started as the fifth-ranked cornerback on the depth chart. He had a mediocre season for a rookie, but his biggest contribution came in Super Bowl XLIX against the Seattle Seahawks.
During the game, Butler left his mark in New England and proved hard work pays off. With just twenty seconds left in the game, Butler intercepted a pass from Russell Wilson, helping the Patriots win the game 28-24 and win the teams fourth Lombardi Trophy in fifteen years.
The problems seemed to start when the team signed top free agent corner Stephen Gillmore to a five-year deal worth $65 million on the first day of free agency.
When the team signed Gillmore, Bulter was not happy that the team didn’t give him the long-term deal he desired, but instead, the front office went out and signed a free agent corner to the same long-term deal that he was seeking.
Last season, the Patriots ranked 12th in yards allowed per game with 237.9. If the team does decide to do nothing with Butler and keep him, New England will have a scary secondary in Butler and Gillmore, alongside Devin McCourty and Patrick Chung for depth.
With the offense looking as dominant as ever on paper, the secondary will have to be as effective as the offense if the team wants to repeat as champions.
At the end of the day, unless he does not want to be apart of the team anymore, the team should not let Butler go, but instead, they should match the offer made initially to Butler.
New England has the leverage in this saga, not Butler, and the team needs Bulter this upcoming season to repeat as Super Bowl champions. Butler is a valuable piece to the secondary, and it would be hard to replace someone with the same skill set and talent that he has.
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