Cornerback Malcolm Butler surprisingly retired just before the start of the 2021 season. He’d signed with the Cardinals as a free agent and was slated to be a significant part of their defense.
But when Arizona released Butler from the reserve/retired list on Thursday, it prompted speculation that the cornerback might want to play again. Apparently, that’s exactly the case.
According to Ben Volin of the Boston Globe, a source close to Butler said the cornerback is “definitely” attempting a comeback and plans to play in 2022.
Because Arizona released Butler from the reserve/retired list, he’s now an unrestricted free agent and can sign with any team.
Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph said back in early September that Butler was taking care of “personal” matters and that the cornerback’s retirement didn’t have to do with his play.
Butler appeared in all 16 games for Tennessee back in 2020, making 100 total tackles, 14 passes defensed, and four interceptions.
Butler, who as a rookie made the game-winning interception in Super Bowl XLIX, has appeared in 100 career games with 84 starts and recorded 17 interceptions.