5 franchise tag deadline moves that should interest Panthers

(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) Malcolm Butler
(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) Malcolm Butler /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Malcolm Butler /

Malcolm Butler released

One of the more eye-catching elements that emerged from this week’s franchise-tag deadline day was the release of Malcolm Butler. The Tennessee Titans were forced to part ways with the talented cornerback to provide them some salary-cap relief and considering how well he performed in 2020, the veteran won’t be short of offers from other teams across the league.

The former undrafted prospect out of West Alabama has been a solid contributor over the last four seasons – three of which have been spent in Tennessee. Butler is a two-time Super Bowl champion with the New England Patriots and made the Pro Bowl in 2015, so this sort of quality and winning mentality would be a tremendous asset to the Carolina Panthers if this particular scenario came to fruition.

Outside of the No. 1 option, Donte Jackson, there are some real concerns about other areas of the depth chart. Someone with the credentials Butler brings to the table is an enticing proposition, to put it mildly, and the player appears to have plenty left in the tank if his efforts last season were any indication.

Butler was targeted an incredible 116 times in 2020, giving up just 73 receptions on his way to a creditable 71.6 grade from Pro Football Focus. He could sure up the opposite side of the field to Jackson and may even result in defensive coordinator Phil Snow moving away from the soft-zone coverage that cost the secondary in big moments last time around.