By now, many Detroit Lions fans have an idea of who they specifically want the Detroit Lions to target in free agency. The start of the league year is just over two weeks away, and while some of the players set to hit free agency will never end up making it to market, we have a generally good idea of which players could be available.
And as such, there have been a lot of players that Lions fans have collectively wanted. Guys like defensive Dontari Poe, guards Andrew Norwell and Josh Sitton are all generally desired by Detroit fans. But, of course, going with the masses will not always lead you to salvation. Sometimes, everyone is just wrong.
So today’s Question of the Day is:
Which free agent, popular among Lions fans, is someone you’re hoping the Lions don’t touch?
My answer: Malcolm Butler. Admittedly, Butler is an extremely polarizing figure for Lions fans. You either want the Lions to go out and get him or you want Detroit to stay away.
I’m in the latter camp, but the Super Bowl fiasco has nothing to do with it. Here are three quick reasons I don’t want Malcolm Butler.
Cornerback isn’t a huge need
Darius Slay is a lock-down cornerback who is signed through the 2020 season. Teez Tabor will be expected to take a big step in 2018. Quandre Diggs is still a versatile cornerback that may not make the shift to safety like some expect. Sure, DJ Hayden and Nevin Lawson are free agents, but add Butler would still be a luxury free agent pickup considering Teez’s future role.
Butler will likely come with a big price tag, considering he’ll be one of the top corners on the market, along with Trumaine Johnson. The Lions have enough cap space to make room for a guy like Butler, but, again, CB2 isn’t a position this team needs to be spending a lot of money on right now.
I know I just referred to Butler as one of the top cornerbacks on the free agent market, and while that probably remains true, his talent is just not as good as many people say. Last year, he allowed a passer rating of 103.3 when targeted according to Pro Football Focus. He also had a career-low 12 pass breakups in 2017 (Darius Slay led the league with 26). To be fair, Butler had some very impressive seasons before his final in New England, but he should still come with a huge “Buyer Beware” sticker after an average-at-best 2017.
So I just don’t get the rationale for Butler. Spending money on a No. 2 corner is bad business for the Lions right now, and Butler will likely get a deal well more than what he’s worth. That’s a no from me, dog.