Vicksburg native, NFL icon Malcolm Butler officially announces retirement

Published 6:02 pm Sunday, March 10, 2024

Two years after he last put on an NFL uniform, Malcolm Butler is finally closing the door on a return to the league.

The Vicksburg native who won two Super Bowls with the New England Patriots told Houston television station KPRC that he is officially retired. As recently as last summer, Butler had said he was still considering a comeback if the right opportunity came along. He last was on an NFL roster in 2022, and had not played in a regular-season game since 2020.

“I did the best I can do. Walking away from the game feeling comfortable,” Butler told KPRC during an interview after an NFL panel discussion at a Dick’s Sporting Goods in Houston. “Everybody can do more, but I’m satisfied with my career. I accomplished a lot in a short amount of time. It’s time to move on and transition.”

Butler signed with the Patriots as an undrafted free agent out of West Alabama in 2014 and played four seasons with the team. He helped them win two Super Bowls, most famously Super Bowl XLIX against the Seattle Seahawks at the end of his rookie season.

Butler’s interception at the goal line with less than a minute to go sealed New England’s 28-24 victory and is regarded as one of the most iconic plays in NFL history.

“It’s crazy when ESPN or Sports Center posts something like the greatest plays in sports history and I’m up there. It makes me feel real good,” Butler told The Vicksburg Post last summer, at his annual youth football camp in Vicksburg. “They’re most definitely going to know me for the one play. I’ve got 20 interceptions, but they just can’t get over that one.”

Butler signed with the Tennessee Titans as a free agent in 2018 and played three more seasons with them before he was released in a salary cap move. He then signed with the Arizona Cardinals, but left the team after playing two preseason games in 2021 and sat out the season.

Butler returned to New England in 2022. He played in the preseason, but was placed on injured reserve after suffering a hip injury. He was eventually released and did not play last season.

The 34-year-old finished his career with 17 interceptions in 100 games over a total of seven seasons.

Since playing his final game, Butler has been involved with several entertainment and real estate ventures. He told KPRC he is working on a book, and his annual football camp in Vicksburg has become a signature event each July. A recent Apple TV series about the Patriots, “The Dynasty,” included interviews with Butler as well.

“I write movie scripts. I probably want to do stand-up comedy. It’s a lot of things I can do. I just want to keep myself busy and keep progressing,” Butler told KPRC.

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

email author More by Ernest