By: Jake Mackey
It was reported by Mike Reiss of ESPN this past Sunday that Malcolm Butler is reportedly seeking a, “tweak” in his current contract that is due to pay him 600K this upcoming season. Reiss stated in his column, “Butler has told teammates and friends he plans to push for an adjustment to his contract before the 2016 season, and staying off the field in voluntary workouts would be a decision that limits injury risk and also could be viewed as a statement to the organization that he’s unhappy with the status quo and/or the movement/specifics of contract talks.”
This first thing that comes to mind when you read something like this, is holdout. This currently would not be considered a holdout because these technically are voluntary team activities. However, anyone who follows the Patriots knows that voluntary workouts are mandatory, therefore Butler choosing not to participate is fairly serious stuff. The Patriots have two more voluntary workouts this week, and the next time the media will be able to determine whether or not Butler participates will be at mandatory mini camp next week. If he holds out from those practices, then this story will really start to escalate.
The fact of the matter is, Butler is warranted to be a little ticked off about his current contract. When a player like Rob Gronkowski gripes about his contract where he makes nine-million dollars a year it is not as easy to have sympathy for him. However, when someone like Malcolm Butler demands a little respect financially, it is easier to take his side, given the fact that top corners make about 15-million a year.
Butler came into the league as an un-drafted free agent out of division two West Alabama, and was the sixth cornerback on the depth chart his rookie season, before making the play of the century on the goal line in Super Bowl XLIX . Then in his second professional season, he jumped five spots on the depth chart due to departures from the likes of Darrelle Revis, Brandon Browner, and Kyle Arrington. In addition, he was named to his first Pro-Bowl, and is undoubtedly the most irreplaceable player on the Patriots defense.
This should help you get through the day,
(GIF Credit: thebiglead.com)
Now, Butler wants a little reward financially, and you cannot blame him for that. This is the guy who was working at Popeyes after he was kicked out of college. He knows that everything in this world can be taken away from you in the blink of an eye. If that means holding out in order to get his well deserved money than so be it. The mantra in Foxborough is that no player is bigger than the team, but first and foremost the National Football League is a money making business.