Malcolm Butler to join Patriots after spending 2021 on Cardinals’ retired list

Mar 23, 2022, 1:28 PM | Updated: 1:54 pm
Cornerbacks Byron Murphy Jr. #7 and Malcolm Butler #21 of the Arizona Cardinals participate in an o...
Cornerbacks Byron Murphy Jr. #7 and Malcolm Butler #21 of the Arizona Cardinals participate in an off-season workout at Dignity Health Arizona Cardinals Training Center on June 02, 2021 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Former Arizona Cardinals cornerback Malcolm Butler has agreed to a two-year deal worth up to $9 million with the New England Patriots, his agent told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

The 32-year-old played for New England from 2014-17, winning the Super Bowl twice and making one All-Pro team there (2016). He is most well-known for his goal-line pass breakup in Super Bowl XLIX against the Seattle Seahawks.

Butler spent 2021 on the Cardinals’ retired list before he was released this offseason, giving him the ability to sign with another team as a free agent.

The cornerback was one of Arizona general manager Steve Keim’s top acquisitions last year. He signed a one-year deal that could have paid up to $6 million, according to reports.

Butler was projected as a starting cornerback after the team allowed long-time Cardinal Patrick Peterson to leave for the Minnesota Vikings in free agency.

Butler was surprisingly placed on the retired list on the final day of training camp cuts. The team referred to his absence as a personal issue.

Butler did not attend practice all week leading up his retirement and scrubbed his social media of Cardinals content he had posted.

“… he was playing fine, he was improving every day and he was gonna be a big part of what we did this year,” Arizona defensive coordinator Vance Joseph said in September.

“Last week we talked a little bit, he’s taking care of some personal stuff and that’s important,” Joseph added. “Obviously, football is a big part of his life but his life’s more important than football.”

Without Butler available at cornerback, the Cardinals leaned on Byron Murphy, Robert Alford and 2021 fourth-round pick Marco Wilson.

Before signing with Arizona, Butler played for the Tennessee Titans from 2018-20.

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