Butler, Pats agree on four-year deal
|07.10.09 at 9:47 am ET|
The Patriots and second-round pick Darius Butler have agreed on a four-year contract.
The news was first reported Friday morning via the Twitter feed of Butler’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, and later confirmed by the Patriots.
Butler, the 41st overall pick in the 2009 draft out of Connecticut, is the second of New England’s 12 draft picks to agree to a contract. Offensive lineman Rich Ohrnberger also received a four-year deal from the Patriots last month.
(UPDATE, 10:50 a.m. — According to Pro Football Talk, per a league source, Butler will receive a roster bonus of $440,000 and a guaranteed option bonus of $1.6275 million. He’ll receive base salaries of $310,000 in 2009, $395,000 in 2010, $582,500 in 2011, and $770,000 in 2012.)
A four-year starter at cornerback for the Huskies, he finished eighth on the school’s career record list with 10 interceptions. He also returned kicks at UConn, and is the first player in Big East Conference history to produce a touchdown on a kickoff return, interception, reception and rushing attempt in a career.
With the New England secondary in a state of transition — three of the four defensive backs who started last season with the Patriots have either been released, traded or have retired — Butler may get his chance to contribute sooner rather than later.
Butler certainly impressed Patriots head coach Bill Belichick with his Pro Day workout at UConn.
“He had an excellent workout,” Belichick said of Butler shortly after he was drafted. “There is no doubt about it. He’s fast, quick; he has good ball skills. He’s an excellent athlete.”
When Patriots’ Director of Player Personnel Nick Caserio was asked about him this past spring, he gave a similar response.
‘Quite frankly, we were surprised he was on the board at No. 41,’ Caserio said of Butler, a Florida native who is the cousin of Baltimore running back Willis McGahee. ‘He’s a pretty versatile guy — his Pro Day workout, it was a real impressive workout. He’s a good kid, a good character kid. We’re excited to have him here.’