Indianapolis Colts: Malcolm Butler Should Be Free Agency Priority [Opinion]

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Malcolm Butler was one of the big storylines during Super Bowl LII. He was benched by the New England Patriots after a “curfew” situation and did not play outside of special teams all game long. It was obvious that he was not happy about the decision during and following the game, which likely means he will not consider re-signing with the Patriots this offseason in free agency.

Another big story coming out of the Super Bowl was Josh McDaniels agreeing to terms with the Indianapolis Colts to become their new head coach. Unfortunately, McDaniels changed his mind at the last second, according to a report from ESPN. He backed out of his deal with the Colts and will return to New England as the offensive coordinator and the heir apparent to Bill Belichick.

How do these two stories come together? Quite simply, the Colts should go all-out this offseason to sign Butler.

Indianapolis is in need of a lot of defensive help this offseason. Perhaps their biggest position of need is cornerback, which is where Butler comes in. He could immediately become the top corner for the Colts.

Butler was a huge part of New England during the regular season, racking up 60 tackles, three forced fumbles, two interceptions, and 12 defended passes. Those numbers would look great in the Colts’ secondary. He isn’t going to come cheap, but the Colts have plenty of money to spend this offseason.

Vontae Davis was the Colts’ top cornerback for the last few years but was released mid-season. Indianapolis has some young talent in Quincy Wilson, Rashaan Melvin, Nate Hairston, and Pierre Desir, but there is no telling who will and won’t be back next season. Adding Butler to go with Wilson as the starting cornerbacks would be a massive upgrade for the Colts.

At this point in time, has Butler’s market value at around $13 million per season. If that is indeed his price range, the Colts should jump all over it and offer him a four-year deal. Butler is just 27-years-old and is more than capable of being a top corner for that length of a contract.

Indianapolis feels betrayed by McDaniels. Butler feels betrayed by New England. Could there be a better fit for either side?

That being said, Butler is going to be a hot commodity this offseason. Other teams will be very interested in bringing in a star corner like Butler. One of those teams could be the Green Bay Packers, who are expected to be much more aggressive this offseason than they have been in years past.

While the Colts will have quite a few teams to compete with for Butler’s services, they should make him their top priority in free agency. There are no other impact corners at the level of Butler, and Chris Ballard’s goal is to get the franchise back into contention as soon as possible. Butler can certainly help them achieve that goal.

Expect to see the Colts take an aggressive approach this offseason. Butler may not end up being one of their targets, but he certainly should be.

If the Colts do end up signing him, their defense will be a lot more dangerous next season.