Malcolm Butler almost certainly won’t be returning to the New England Patriots after his Super Bowl LII benching, but he should have plenty of suitors once he hits free agency March 14.
The New York Jets will be among those suitors, according to a report Tuesday by Calvin Watkins of Newsday.
Watkins reported the Jets will “look into signing” the 27-year-old cornerback, who started all but two games for the Patriots over the past three seasons.
Butler earned a Pro Bowl selection in 2015 — his first season as an NFL starter — and second-team All-Pro honors in 2016. His 2017 campaign was the most inconsistent of his career, but he still led all Patriots defenders in snaps played and pass breakups while also tallying two interceptions, three forced fumbles and one sack.
One of Butler’s best games of the season came in a Week 6 victory over the Jets at MetLife Stadium. He intercepted a Josh McCown pass, forced a fumble at the goal line that resulted in a turnover and finished with three pass breakups. He also provided lockdown coverage in the Week 17 rematch, allowing zero catches on two targets in another Patriots victory.
The Jets used two high draft picks last year on safeties Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye, but they could use help at corner with Morris Claiborne set to hit free agency.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images