Honorable mention: Malcolm Butler
2020 salary: $13.3 million
2020 dead cap: $6 million
2020 savings from cutting Butler: $7.3 million
While Malcolm Butler has definitely been an asset to the Titans’ secondary since signing a five-year, $61.25 million contract in 2018, I’m not sure you can say he’s been worth every penny.
After getting off to a rough start in the first half of 2018, Butler turned it on in the second half and finished the season strong. In 2019, Butler played well in the first half, but ultimately his season ended after he suffered a broken wrist in the Week 9 loss to the Carolina Panthers.
The soon-to-be 30-year-old is due a shade under $42 million in the next three years of his deal ($13.3 million in 2020), which is a hefty price to pay for a player who is good, but nowhere near a shutdown franchise corner.
The only problem with cutting Butler is that the Titans would be thin at the position, especially if they choose not to bring Logan Ryan back. From there, Tennessee’s options would be replacing Butler with a rookie from the draft, someone already on the team or with a free agent signing.
On the flip side of that argument, the Titans’ secondary did play well with Tramaine Brock in Butler’s place once Adoree’ Jackson got healthy, and Butler himself even lauded his teammates for not missing a beat when he was gone.
Not exactly a ringing endorsement of what he brings to the team.
Chances are the Titans are going to try and keep Butler and this secondary together for one more season, and then look to cut him in 2021 when his dead cap number is a bit lower at $4 million. A restructure of his contract is also a possibility.
Should they cut him in 2020, he would carry a dead cap number of $6 million, but a savings of $7.3 million, which would mean the Titans have a little over $25 million extra to work with if they cut Butler and the other four players listed here.
It’s certainly tempting to say the least.