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Super Bowl XLIX hero Malcolm Butler, the former New England Patriots cornerback who picked off Russell Wilson at the goal line with just seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, is hanging up his cleats.
NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported Monday that the cornerback is dealing with a “personal situation,” and that stepping away from the game is “on the table.”
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the Cardinals have placed Butler on the reserve/retired list.
Butler‘s one-year deal with the Cardinals included a $2.175 million signing bonus, and it’s reported he’ll owe that money back to the team.
He also will lose a guaranteed salary of $1.075 million, along with up to $2.75 million in incentives tied to playing time and whether the Cardinals make the playoffs, per reports.
Butler spent the last three seasons with the Tennessee Titans, and the 31-year-old turned in one of his best seasons in 2020, per CBS Sports. In 16 games played, he recorded a career-high 100 combined tackles, 14 passes defended and four interceptions. When the Titans were forced to part ways with him this offseason due to the falling cap number, he joined the Cardinals.
With Butler out of the picture — at least for now — CBS Sports reports that Byron Murphy Jr. is slated to start at cornerback, with Robert Alford, Marco Wilson and Daryl Worley behind him.