No two inner division adversaries take players away from each other like the Jets and Patriots. From Curtis Martin and Darrelle Revis, to coaches like Eric Mangini and of course, Bill Belichick; there’s a litany of history to choose from. It only makes sense for the Jets to bring in soon-to-be free agent Malcolm Butler. Except this time, it won’t be out of spite, it would be the right fit.
Malcolm Butler To The Jets Makes Sense
Prospectively, the union makes sense for both sides systematically. The Jets have holes to fill at the cornerback position as Morris Claiborne and Buster Skrine are set to be free agents in the coming years. The Jets could certainly use Butler’s veteran presence and he would certainly be an upgrade over the other two aforementioned players.
New York is on the cusp of having a dynamic secondary in a pass-friendly league. Butler values himself as a top corner whose strength is in man-to-man coverage. Todd Bowles‘ 3-4 defense gives Butler the freedom to play within himself, as the Jets don’t generate much of a pass rush from their edge. They rely on linebacker blitzing schemes, which in turns forces the secondary to win their one-on-one battles. Adding Butler and possibly drafting another impact corner will help build the foundation of a dominant secondary.
Butler’s departure from New England was anything but amicable. After his benching in the Super Bowl and the subsequent fall out after an outburst about Belichick. Butler is a passionate man who would surely love to stick it to his former team by signing with their rivals from the Big Apple.
He is the guy who has always played with his heart on his sleeve as the underdog trying to prove he belongs. Not to mention, imagine the intel Butler would have on Tom Brady and company.
Dollars and Cents
While Kirk Cousins is the big ticket item the Jets are trying to land this offseason, they will still be big spenders. Having around $75 million in cap space and needing to spend at least 89 percent of that because of NFL salary cap rules, the Jets are in a good spot. Their financial situation gives them the freedom to test the waters on multiple marquee names. Butler, at age 27, is looking to get paid, and the Jets have the money to do it.
There’s a tangible need for the Jets to build a high quality secondary, and Butler gives the Jets a chance to do just that. He will receive money he believes he has earned, as well as prove to New England that he is one of the best in the league. By becoming a cog in the New York machine, Butler can help shake the Patriots down from the ivory tower that is the AFC East. Like the wise man said, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend”.