Last year it was defensive tackle Jurrell Casey; this year it’s cornerback Malcolm Butler.
Butler was the latest Tennessee Titans’ cap casualty after the team released the 31-year-old corner on Tuesday, according to his agent Derek Simpson. He had two years left on the five-year, $61.25 million contract that he signed in 2018.
Releasing the seven-year veteran, who was due $14.2 million in 2021, cleared $10.2 million in cap space for Tennessee. In three seasons with the Titans, Butler notched 201 tackles, nine interceptions (two that were returned for a touchdown) 35 passes defensed, a forced fumble and a sack.
Butler's best season came last year as he led the team in passes defensed (14) and interception yards (111). He also tied for the team lead in interceptions (four) and ranked second in tackles (100). In addition, Butler earned the highest coverage grade (75.8) and second-best overall defensive grade (74.5) of his career, according to Pro Football Focus.
Butler’s departure likely means Adoree Jackson and Kristian Fulton are penciled in as the starters with Chris Jackson, Breon Borders and Kareem Orr the likely No. 3-5 corners. The Titans might be wise to explore other options in free agency or the draft considering Jackson recorded just 12 tackles in three games last year and Fulton totaled 16 tackles and an interception in only six games.
Some of the top free agent cornerbacks on the market include Patrick Peterson, A.J. Bouye, Desmond Trufant, William Jackson, and D.J. Hayden. The draft is loaded with potential top corners such as Patrick Surtain Jr., Jaycee Horn, Caleb Farley, Asante Samuel Jr., Tyson Campbell and Elijah Molden.
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