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Mind Games: Debating whether the Steelers should bring in Malcolm Butler

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Could the Pittbsurgh Steelers take a page out of the New England Patriots’ playbook and sign Malcolm Butler?

NFL: AFC Championship-Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ secondary is improved but far from complete. With players like Artie Burns, Mike Hilton and Cameron Sutton, you have a secondary brimming with potential, but also extremely young and raw.

The Steelers might look to free agency to pick up more talent, like they did in signing Joe Haden before the 2017 season, and Malcolm Butler of the New England Patriots will be on a lot of teams’ lists this off-season.

Could the Steelers take a page out of the Patriots’ bag of tricks and bring in Butler to help anchor the secondary?

Even if the Steelers want to bring in Malcolm Butler, they would likely throw him a low-ball offer much like what they offered Logan Ryan last season. The only way the move happens is if Butler is so scorned by the Patriots that he takes less money to play for a conference rival and a Super Bowl contender.

Pros:

Adding Butler bolsters the cornerback unit. Pairing Joe Haden with Malcolm Butler places the Steelers’ cornerback unit among the NFL’s upper echelon. Brian Allen would likely move to safety, leaving Hilton, Burns, and Sutton to battle for playing time in the slot.

Butler significantly improves the Steelers’ ability to run man-coverage. Plus, he’s less likely to get burned on a double move. Butler is much more physical at the line of scrimmage, and a sure tackler. He’ll come into the box to make a tackle at the line of scrimmage.

This move would also build morale because this Steelers team has had a little brother complex towards the Patriots for most of the last decade. Bringing in a talented player from the Pats could give the Steelers roster a big enough jolt that they’d spend less time worrying about the Patriots.

Cons:

Adding Butler would also mean the Steelers’ brass lost faith in 2016 first-round pick Artie Burns. Burns is only 22 years old and still has time to develop. But bringing in a veteran player with Super Bowl experience could help the Steelers’ championship aspirations. Both Burns and 2017 third-round pick Cameron Sutton could legitimately find their game this off-season. They are both high draft picks that have shown flashes. Butler will need to revert to 2016 form if he wants to line up across from Haden. Otherwise, he might be a very expensive backup.

Butler won’t come cheap. A Restricted Free Agent heading into 2017, Butler only made $3.91 million last season and he’ll be looking to earn his first big payday. The most reasonable contract to base a Butler deal on is what former teammate Logan Ryan received from the Titans. Their stats were almost identical this past season, but both underwhelmed in 2017. Ryan signed with the Titans for 30 million dollars over 3 years.

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Clearly not a move of priority. But if the Steelers can lock up their own guys, they might as well place a call for Malcolm Butler.

Poll

Should the Steelers bring in Malcolm Butler?

This poll is closed

  • 35%
    YES!
    (979 votes)
  • 19%
    No
    (530 votes)
  • 45%
    Won’t matter, Steelers won’t be able to afford him
    (1262 votes)
2771 votes total Vote Now