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Vicksburg’s Butler released by Tennessee Titans

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Titans released cornerback Malcolm Butler Tuesday three years into the five-year deal he signed in March 2018, according to his agent Derek Simpson.

The Titans officially announced the move Wednesday afternoon.

Butler, a native of Vicksburg, signed for more than $60 million in March 2018 after leaving New England as a free agent. He was due $11 million in base salary this season and $11.2 million in 2022. But Butler had the team’s third-highest salary cap hit at $14.2 million for this season trailing only Ryan Tannehill and safety Kevin Byard, according to Spotrac.com.

The seven-year veteran started all 16 games last season and tied for the team lead with four interceptions. That tied his career-high of four interceptions in 2016 with New England, and his most famous interception clinched the 2015 Super Bowl for the Patriots over Seattle. He has 17 career interceptions.

Butler won two Super Bowls with New England and earned his lone Pro Bowl selection while playing for them in 2015. He joined the Titans as a free agent prior to the 2018 season.

Butler started 36 of the 45 games he played in for Tennessee. After missing the last seven games of the 2019 season because of a broken arm, he bounced back in 2020 to have his best season with the Titans.

Butler started every game and had a career-high 100 tackles in 2020, which was the most in the NFL among cornerbacks. He ranked second in the NFL in interception return yardage, and was tied for eighth in passes defended (14) as the Titans won the AFC South championship.