Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports

How will 2017 season impact Malcolm Butler as a free agent?

Ryan Hannable
February 13, 2018 - 12:43 pm

Going into the 2017 season, it was clear if Malcolm Butler performed well, he would be in for a huge payday when he signed his next contract this offseason.

Well, Butler didn’t exactly have greatest of seasons.

According to Pro Football Focus, in 2017 Butler intercepted two passes, defended 12 passes, and allowed a 96.6 passer rating in coverage. He was beaten for a number of big plays against some average players, and certainly wasn’t the same player he was in 2015 and 2016.

There were also rumblings of Butler not being the easiest player to coach, as attitude problems persisted throughout the year, which began when the Patriots signed cornerback Stephon Gilmore to a mega-deal last March. And of course, the last memory teams have of Butler is him being benched in Super Bowl LII.

Not exactly the way he envisioned himself going into free agency.

One thing is certain, he will not be returning to New England with the way things ended.

So, what kind of contract is he looking at?

According to Spotrac, Butler’s calculated market value is projected at five years and $65 million, but this seems extremely, extremely high.

It compared it to Desmond Truant, who signed a five-year deal for $68.8 million at age 26, Janoris Jenkins, who signed a five-year, $62.5 million deal at age 27, Dre Kirkpatrick, who signed a five-year deal worth $52.5 at age 27 and Logan Ryan, who signed a three-year deal worth $30 million at age 26.

Butler is 27 years old. It’s hard to imagine a team willing to commit to him for five seasons given his past and recent year. Ryan’s deal last year seems like more in the range of what he will be getting.

If he continued his play from 2015 and 2016 and didn’t have any attitude problems, he likely wouldn’t have received a deal like Gilmore got last year (five years for $65 million), but it would certainly be better than what he will likely get this offseason.

With how valued cornerbacks always seem to be on the open market, Butler will receive heavy interest, but he will not be cashing in as much as he potentially could have with a better 2017 season.

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