2018 NFL Contract Projection: Free Agent CB Malcolm Butler

Malcolm Butler Measureables

Height: 5-11
Weight: 190
Age: 27
Experience: 4 seasons
Status: Unrestricted Free Agent

Malcolm Butler Profile

In Super Bowl XLIX, Butler made a play that would change his life forever. In Super Bowl 52, Butler became a major narrative for not playing a single defensive snap. Butler had played the most snaps on the Patriots defense from Week 1 through the AFC Championship.

This saga probably began when New England gave Stephon Gilmore the lucrative, long-term commitment Butler believed he’d earned. There were also talks of Butler being involved in the Brandin Cooks trade, but it ended with Butler standing on the sidelines as Nick Foles and the Eagles snatched a sixth Super Bowl away from the Patriots.

Butler has proven himself more than the interception that sealed Super Bowl XLIX, following it up with a Pro Bowl campaign that showcased his abilities.

He’s a physical corner who wins at the line of scrimmage through sound technique and discipline. He’s shown he can play man and zone adequately. His experience inside to the slot at times will prove beneficial; versatility is valuable.

Butler’s a mediocre athlete at the position, possibly the cause for his going undrafted. He’s not very fast and struggles to make up ground when he’s lost of the line or made a mental error, which tends to happen. Butler’s at his best when he wins early in the down and doesn’t get caught out of position and needing to play catch up.

Butler has overachieved considering he was an undrafted free agent coming out of West Alabama. Butler’s made $6.1 million dollars over his first four seasons in the NFL, but he’ll be looking to cash in this March.

Malcolm Butler Production

Season G GS Tck Sacks QBH TFL FF FR INT PD Targets Burns Rate
2014 11 1 14 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 27 15 114.3
2015 16 16 67 0 0 1 0 0 2 15 109 59 100.5
2016 16 16 63 1.0 1 1 1 2d 4 17 107 58 85.9
2017 16 15 60 1.0 2 1 3 0 2 12 101 57 98
Totals  59 48 204 2 3 3 4 2 8 47 344 189 96.3

Cornerback Market

In the new NFL, cornerbacks have become vital pieces to an NFL defense. Teams can never have enough cornerbacks on the roster. Butler is not an elite corner, but that’s hasn’t stopped teams from heavily compensated good players at the position.

Top 10 CB APY: $13.9 Million
Top 32 CB APY: $9.5 Million
Top 64 CB APY: $6.2 Million

Player Comparables: NYG Janoris Jenkins, DET Darius Slay, BUF Stephon Gilmore

Contract Comparison

Player Year Age Yrs Total APY GTD Full GTD ‘18 APY
Janoris Jenkins 2016 28 5 $62.5M $12.5M $28.8M $28.8M $14.3M
Darius Slay 2016 25 4 $48.2M $12.0M $23.1M $23.1M $13.7M
Stephon Gilmore 2017 26 5 $65.0M $13.0M $40.0M $31.0M $13.8M
Averages 26 4.7  $58.6M  $12.5M  $30.6M  $27.6M  $13.9M

2018 Cap Adjusted Annual Salary: $13.9M

Statistical Comparison (Two Year Averages Before Deal)

Player Years Tcks INT PD FF FR Def PR Burn % Def Tgt %
Janoris Jenkins 2014-15 61.5 2.5 10.5 1.5 0.0 100.1 66.3 16.0
Darius Slay 2014-15 59.0 2.0 15.0 0.0 0.0 88.8 59.0 14.5
Stephon Gilmore 2015-16 42.0 4.0 15.0 0.0 0.0 78.3 53.4 15.7
Averages   54.2 2.8 13.5 0.5 0.0 89.1 59.6 15.4
Malcolm Butler 2016-17 61.5 3.0 14.5 2.0 1.0 91.7 55.3 16.0


The questions surrounding Butler’s Super Bowl benching still remain, but he’s played fairly consistent to his 2015 season over the last two campaigns. He’s a two-time Super Bowl champion, which is valuable to a locker room. His resume doesn’t necessarily align with the elite players at the position, but the value of cornerbacks in the NFL will help Butler immensely.

Salary Floor: $9-10 million per season

The Titans signed a different former Patriots cornerback, Logan Ryan to a 3-year, $30 million contract last offseason, which should serve as Butler’s salary floor.

Salary Ceiling: $13 million per season

If multiple teams get into a bidding war over Butler, he could sneak close to the Top 5 corners, in terms of average annual value..

Contract Projection

Butler gets the ceiling in this projection, in a contract similar to the one Stephon Gilmore got from the Patriots last offseason. Butler will make more money in 2018 than he did in his first four seasons in the NFL.

5 years, $65 million, $13 million APY, $40 million guaranteed, $28 million fully guaranteed

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