Butler has spent his entire National Football League career to this point with New England but is set to be an unrestricted free agent this offseason, per Spotrac. The soon-to-be free-agent cornerback intends to sign with the Tennessee Titans when contracts can become official on Wednesday, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
His new contract is a five-year, $61 million contract that includes $30 million in guaranteed money.
The 28-year-old Butler was named to the Pro Bowl in 2015.
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Butler's departure leaves the Patriots with a need at cornerback this offseason. He is famously known for picking off Russell Wilson in the final seconds of Super Bowl XLIX, and did it as an undrafted rookie.
If in fact the Lions did sign Butler, Patricia would be pressed on why Butler didn't play in the Super Bowl because that plays into the team signing him. The Patriots lost the Super Bowl to the Eagles, unable to stop Nick Foles without Butler out there.
Butler's market came ironically came down to teams run by former Patriots executives and coaches. Instead, that went to Stephon Gilmore.
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Butler will play for former Patriots linebacker Mike Vrabel - who is in his first season as head coach of the Titans - and also joins former Patriots personnel man Jon Robinson. He finished with 12 deflections and two interceptions. The Patriots already agreed to give up their 2019 third-round draft pick in the trade to acquire defensive tackle Danny Shelton and this would replenish that pick. It remains today unclear why Butler didn't play, but it was clear after that game that Butler and the Patriots would be parting ways.
So while Belichick himself likely won't be giving any answers as to why Butler didn't play in the game, if the Lions sign Butler perhaps we will get one.
The Patriots are scheduled to visit the Titans this season.
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