2. Malcolm Butler, Cornerback
It is easy to forget how well respected Malcolm Butler was just a few years ago. A two-time Super Bowl Champion with a Pro Bowl and an All-Pro honor already on his resume, Butler was the next great cornerbacks in the NFL.
However, some mysterious off the field issues and a lack of consistently ultimately led the Patriots to consider trading him for first round draft pick or trading him outright to the New Orleans Saints for Malcolm Butler.
The crazy thing was, people thought that the Saints were making out like bandits in that scenario. To take a quote from Arrow Head Addict:
"Butler would give the Saints a shutdown cornerback who is still very young. The Pats slapped him with a first-round tender, so now the Saints will be able to match whatever offer Butler receives on the open market… …If this trade happens, the Patriots would be dealing from a position of strength after signing cornerback Stephon Gilmore away from the Buffalo Bills for a reported $14 million per season. This gives them a lockdown cornerback of their own even as they deal away Butler."
The thing is, people weren’t wrong but somewhere along the way Butler hit a rough patch that he never really got out of. Well, until the second half of last season, when he was quietly one of the better cornerbacks in the NFL.
The Titans didn’t get worse anywhere on defense this offseason and in fact they bolstered the pass rush which should make life even easier for Butler. If he is finally the confident cornerback that he was in his prime with the Patriots, suddenly things get really interesting in Tennessee.
Now, Mike Vrabel and staff know exactly how to use Butler and can figure out how to put him in position to win on a weekly basis. With talent all over the field, the Titans most opportunistic cornerback could make a splash and remind people why he was so respected in the first place.