Adam Butler is weighing his options as the New England Patriots defensive tackle prepares to hit the open market for the first time.
Butler, who has spent his entire four-year NFL career in New England, addressed his impending free agency during a recent appearance on the “Two Minute Drill” podcast.
“I’ve been very humbled by this experience,” Butler said, via Pats Pulpit. “I’ve seen a lot of guys come and go in the NFL. This has definitely helped me understand this is a privilege more so than it is a right. Wherever my opportunity shows up, or the best opportunity for me shows up, I’m definitely going to take it. …
“If it’s New England, that’s great. I love New England. I love playing there. I’ve developed a lot of relationships with Coach (Bill) Belichick, Mr. (Robert) Kraft and a lot of other people there. I love New England, but at the end of the day, I think everybody just has to do what’s best for them. And that’s what I plan on doing.”
Butler, who turns 27 in April, initially signed with the Patriots as an undrafted rookie in 2017. He’s missed just one game over his four pro seasons, and though his numbers declined in 2020, he surged down the stretch after overcoming a nagging shoulder injury.
All four of Butler’s sacks, six of his seven quarterback hits, each of his two pass deflections and 21 of his 34 tackles came over the Patriots’ final six games.
Butler played this season on a one-year restricted free agent tender that paid him $3.26 million. He’s one of three core Patriots D-linemen (along with Lawrence Guy and Deatrich Wise) set to hit unrestricted free agency when the NFL league year opens March 17.