In a surprising move last month, the Arizona Cardinals placed veteran cornerback Malcolm Butler on the reserve/retired list.
Butler missed multiple practices with a “personal situation” that ultimately led him to this retirement decision. Despite multiple reports indicating that this could be a temporary move, the former Pro Bowler has still yet to return now more than a week after the initial decision.
That being said, the Cardinals haven’t ruled out a potential return for the 31-year-old cornerback.
Defensive coordinator Vance Joseph reportedly spoke to Butler last week. And despite his ongoing personal issues, a return could still be on the table.
Cardinals DC Vance Joseph said he talked a little with CB Malcolm Butler last week. Didn’t rule out Butler possibly returning but acknowledged he didn’t know. Said Butler was taking care of “personal” things. Said didn’t have to do with play on field.
— Darren Urban (@Cardschatter) September 9, 2021
Butler signed a one-year, $3.25 million contract with the Cardinals in late March after he was released by the Tennessee Titans. He was brought in to replace Arizona’s former top corner Patrick Peterson, who joined the Minnesota Vikings in free agency earlier this year.
If Butler doesn’t return from his retirement, the Cardinals will be forced to rely on rookie Marco Wilson to pick up the slack.
The veteran corner still clearly has plenty of gas left in the tank. In 2020, he logged a career-high four interceptions, 100 tackles and 14 passes defended.
The Cardinals will kickoff their 2021 season with a Week 1 matchup against Butler’s former Titans team on Sunday.