Patriots release former second-round pick Butler


Patriots release former second-round pick Butler

By Phil Perry and Jimmy Toscano

Darius Butler is no longer a member of the Patriots.

On Tuesday afternoon the third-year corner back tweeted: "Its been real New England. I was blessed to have a chance to play and start my NFL career here. But its time to open a new chapter. Thx patsnation"

Hours later, Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer reported that the cornerback was claimed off waivers by the Carolina Panthers.

After a productive rookie season in 2009, the second-round pick out of UConn has been a disappointment. In his first year, he made 35 tackles and recorded 3 interceptions. He also defended eight passes.

Last season, he had a chance to step up and have a big role in the Patriots secondary with cornerback Leigh Bodden out for the season but he didn't capitalize on the opportunity. Kyle Arrington, primarily used as a special-teamer at the time, overtook Butler on the depth chart, and Butler was relegated to a bench role.

Coming off the bench, his production went down in every category in 2010 as he finished with just 23 tackles and zero interceptions, and as he told Mike Reiss of, things weren't working out.

It kind of went downhill from there, Butler acknowledged. I never faced that kind of adversity when it came to sports, being benched. I just was not playing up to the level I expected to, and the level the team expected. Not seeing the field as much as last year, that was tough.

The Patriots drafted cornerback Ras-I Dowling in the second round this year, and Bodden is back from last season's shoulder injury. When healthy, Bodden looks like he will be a starter at cornerback opposite Devin McCourty. The Patriots also have cornerbacks Arrington and Antwaun Molden on the roster.

That gave the Patriots options heading into the season.

I didnt know how it would work out, a trade or release," he told "Im not really surprised by it. Things werent working out with me and the team. Its not really a shocker. You can kind of see the writing on the wall sometimes. It was best for both parties.

If you think this move somehow negates Tom E. Curran's stance that Bill Belichick still knows how to recognize talent, keep in mind: The Patriots also drafted Patrick Chung, Sebastian Vollmer, Myron Pryor, Ron Brace and Julian Edelman in the 2009 draft. Though Chung and Vollmer are the only two surefire starters from that group, all are still with the team.

Butler is the sixth former Patriot claimed off waivers by at least one team since Saturday.

Curran: Jets' 2015 tampering with Revis more extensive than NFL revealed

Curran: Jets' 2015 tampering with Revis more extensive than NFL revealed

The Patriots obviously got it right when they pushed away from the table during the Darrelle Revis bidding war in 2015. 

The once-great corner spent the 2016 season languishing on the field. He’s spending the early part of the offseason reacting negatively to backpack journalism after midnight. 


But the alleged double KO by Revis and his buddies isn’t what prompts this submission. 

It’s the revelation from Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News that the tampering the Jets engaged in when they were prying Revis loose from the Patriots was way, way more involved than what the NFL fined them for. And that Jets owner Woody Johnson knew all about it. 

Mehta leads his piece revealing that, long before free agency opened in 2015, Revis “was ready to squeeze more money out of [Johnson] who he knew would be willing to overpay for his services again.”

Mehta reports that, “back-channel discussions with the Jets in February set the foundation for a Revis reunion . . . 

“Team officials in stealth mode communicated with Revis, Inc., through private cell phones and face-to-face covert meetings at the 2015 Scouting Combine rather than make calls from the team's landlines at their Florham Park facility. No paper trails were a must.

“Johnson, the driving force behind bringing back Revis to right a wrong in his mind, endorsed all of it.”

The Patriots -- who were in the midst of the Deflategate colonoscopy that resulted in absurd-level discipline -- lodged a complaint with the league over the Jets tampering after Revis signed with the Jets in mid-March of 2015. 

The Jets were fined $100,000 but weren’t docked any draft picks.. The tender wrist slap came, ostensibly, because Johnson moronically stated at a December press conference that he’d “love” to have Revis return to New York. 

Maybe Johnson wasn’t being a dummy. That comment provided cover for the league office -- which has a documented history of treating the two NYC franchises with kid gloves -- to let the Jets off easy. 

Mehta’s article is the latest offering from him since completing his heel turn against Revis. 

Mehta did everything but fly the plane to bring Revis to New York once the 2014 season ended. And this is what he wrote the day the Jets penalty came down: 

The NFL’s attempt to uncover any dirt was an exercise in futility, a witch hunt driven by nonsense from a hypocritical organization with no reason to feel threatened by its competitor. 

You may wonder what’s the point? 

Clearly, the Patriots got it right while the Jets cheated, got what they wanted, and are now getting what they deserved. 

And everyone already knows the league office’s investigations and operations arms under the brutally incompetent leadership of Troy Vincent are a laughingstock. 

All true. But if I don’t write this now, I may have no recollection of this particular instance of league corruption given the absolute avalanche of other incidents

Perry: 'Not out of the realm of possibility' Amendola takes pay cut

Perry: 'Not out of the realm of possibility' Amendola takes pay cut

Phil Perry analyzes  whether Danny Amendola will take another pay cut to stay with the New England Patriots.