By the numbers: CB Malcolm Butler’s career before heading to Arizona

Mar 26, 2021, 7:14 AM

Tennessee Titans cornerback Malcolm Butler (21) defends against the Houston Texans during the first...

Tennessee Titans cornerback Malcolm Butler (21) defends against the Houston Texans during the first half of an NFL football game in Houston, in this Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, file photo. The Arizona Cardinals added cornerback Malcolm Butler, Thursday, March 25, 2021, on a one-year deal in an effort to bolster a thin secondary.(AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith, File)

(AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith, File)

Cornerback Malcolm Butler is the latest free agent to join the Arizona Cardinals, agreeing to a one-year deal Thursday reportedly worth up to $6 million.

Butler was considered one of the top cornerbacks on the market and his career stats — especially his 2020 season — show exactly why.

Last season with the Tennessee Titans was a solid one for Butler. The 31-year-old amassed a career-high 100 total tackles, four interceptions, a team-leading fourteen passes defensed and didn’t miss a game.

Over his seven year career, Butler has been named to the Pro Bowl once, won two Super Bowls (and made an iconic play you just might remember) and has appeared in 100 total games.

Take a closer look at the Cardinals’ newest cornerback, by the numbers:


Butler totaled 100 total tackles with the Titans in 2020, the most of any cornerback in the league. It was also a career-high for the player, whose previous record was 69. His 89 solo tackles in 2020 marked a career-high as well.

One hundred is also the number of regular season games Butler has appeared in over seven seasons — 84 of those games he has started.


The cornerback holds a six-year streak with at least two interceptions and nine or more passes defensed. In 2020, Butler led the Titans with 14 passes defensed. He also tied for the team lead and his career-high with four interceptions, notably picking off Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen twice in Week 5 and the Packers’ Aaron Rodgers in a Week 16 win.

17 + 2

Speaking of interceptions, Butler has recorded 17 total in the regular season in his time between the Patriots and Titans. His most memorable, though, is one of his two playoff interceptions, which happened at State Farm Stadium — but not against the Cardinals.

A then-rookie Butler picked off Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson during the final seconds of Super Bowl XLIX to seal the Patriots’ 28-24 win. Cardinals fan will be hoping to see a moment like that again when the two teams meet twice this season.


Butler has appeared in 12 total playoff games, most recently in the Titans’ Wild Card loss to the Ravens last year in which he recorded five tackles and an interception. The cornerback was also part of two Super Bowl wins in 2014 and 2016 with the Patriots.


Pro Football Focus gave Butler a 71.6 overall grade for the 2020 season. He ranked as the No. 15 cornerback in the league, according to PFF, a jump from his No. 21 ranking in 2019. The football analytics website also gave Butler a 72.7 grade in coverage, 59.3 in run defense and 50.2 in pass rush.

Patrick Peterson, the No. 1 cornerback Butler replaces in Arizona, recorded a 55.2 overall PFF rating and 53.1 coverage grade in 2020.


Comment guidelines: No name-calling, personal attacks, profanity, or insults. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate comments by reporting abuse.
comments powered by Disqus

Arizona Cardinals

Dallas Goedert #88 of the Philadelphia Eagles jumps out of a tackle by Dennis Gardeck #45 of the Ar...

Alex Weiner

Cardinals OLB Dennis Gardeck working to improve pass rush technique this offseason

Cardinals edge rusher Dennis Gardeck said he is improving his technique with new OLBs coach Rob Rodriguez to become a more complete rusher.

1 day ago

Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals warms up prior to his game against the Philadelphia Eagles...

Tom Kuebel

Bleacher Report: Cardinals’ Kyler Murray is NFL’s most overrated QB

Bleacher Report's Gary Davenport ranks Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray as the most overrated player at his position in the NFL.

1 day ago

Monti Ossenfort...

Arizona Sports

Barnwell: Arizona Cardinals 12th-most improved team this offseason

In ESPN analyst Bill Barnwell's eyes, the Cardinals are among those who have used the offseason to their advantage.

3 days ago

Budda Baker #3 of the Arizona Cardinals looks on during the second quarter against the Carolina Pan...

Wills Rice

ESPN’s Bowen: Best potential landing spots for Budda Baker, DeAndre Hopkins

ESPN's Matt Bowen gave the best potential landing spots for both wideout DeAndre Hopkins and Cardinals safety Budda Baker.

2 days ago

James Conner...

Tyler Drake

No complaints: Cardinals’ James Conner excited to ‘prove people wrong’ with new regime

While outside expectations are some of the lowest they have been in Cardinals history, RB James Conner isn't focused on the external noise.

2 days ago

Kyler Murray...

Arizona Sports

Simms: Cardinals’ Kyler Murray in ‘clock’s ticking’ tier of NFL quarterbacks

After going down with a season-ending knee injury, can Kyler Murray return to form and be one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL?

3 days ago

By the numbers: CB Malcolm Butler’s career before heading to Arizona