Original contract: Five years, $61.25 million (Three years remaining)
2020 cap hit: $13.3 million
After his contract looked like a total disaster in the first half of the 2018 season, Malcolm Butler has emerged as a solid corner for the Titans since then. Unfortunately, his season ended early after just nine games in 2019 due to a broken wrist.
Again, Butler has certainly been solid in Tennessee, but I’m not sure that salary he’s getting is worth his production. Adding to that, the Titans got along just fine without him, as they only ran into issues when Adoree’ Jackson went down to injury.
Would having Butler around make Tennessee’s secondary better? Sure, but his absence did not sink this team and the play of Tramaine Brock more than covered for him.
The Titans should approach Butler about taking a pay cut. I just don’t see any way he’d make as much as he’s due to make in the open market, and his salary will balloon to over $14 million in 2021 and 2022.
It wouldn’t make much sense for the Titans to restructure his deal by pushing money to later years, as cutting him is also a realistic option, whether that be this year or next. Butler carries a dead cap number of $6 million in 2020, $4 million in 2021, and $2 million in 2022.
As he crosses into his thirties in March, Butler is a prime candidate to take a pay cut, or at least be cut altogether, whether that be this year or next.