Report: Patriots reach deal to bring CB Malcolm Butler out of retirement

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Malcolm Butler is headed back to New England.

The Patriots reached a two-year, $9 million deal with Butler on Wednesday, according to the Boston Globe. The move officially brings the cornerback out of retirement.

Butler got his start with the Patriots, who signed him after he went undrafted in 2014. He then spent the next four seasons there, and won a pair of Super Bowls.

Butler is best known for his interception in Super Bowl XLIX, when he picked off Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson at the goal line to secure New England’s win.

Butler was infamously benched in the Patriots' Super Bowl LII loss to the Philadelphia Eagles after a heated exchange with then-defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, who is currently a senior football advisor with New England after an unsuccessful stint as Detroit Lions head coach.

Butler signed a deal with the Tennessee Titans in 2018, but he was released by the organization after a career year in 2020. Though he signed a one-year deal with the Arizona Cardinals shortly after, Butler announced his surprise retirement before the 2021 season started. He reportedly retired due to a “personal situation,” though it’s not clear what that was.

The 32-year-old had a career-high 100 tackles and four interceptions yards with the Titans in 2020. Though it’s been a couple years since he last took the field, Butler was at the top of his game when he stepped away. If he can get back there, he should be an asset for Bill Belichick in New England this fall.

Malcolm Butler of the Arizona Cardinals
Malcolm Butler is coming out of retirement to join the New England Patriots. (Norm Hall/Getty Images)