Is Easterby Key To Texans Acquiring Star DB?

With former Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler now a free agent, it's time the Houston Texans use their 'Patriots 2.0' moniker to their advantage and bring Butler in.
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The salary cap 'massacre' of 2021 continues with Tennessee Titans cornerback Malcolm Butler the latest casualty. A former Pro Bowler in possession of two Super Bowl rings from his time with the New England Patriots, could the Houston Texans be a perfect landing spot for Butler?

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Well, there are two significant reasons to believe Houston would be a great fit for Butler, and they are Nick Caserio and Jack Easterby. The Texans' general manager (Caserio) and executive vice president of football operations (Easterby) were both with the Patriots during Butler's time in Boston, and they would be wise to use this prior connection to Houston's advantage.

In fact, in a now-infamous clip from one of Easterby's sermons, he fondly discussed picking Butler up from the airport upon his arrival as a rookie, as well some of their interactions during their time together. 

Throw in the fact that Caserio was the Patriots' director of player personnel when Butler was brought in and kept him on the roster through two Super Bowl victories, and this move makes ever more sense.

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Now 31, Butler would fill an instant need for the Texans, who lack starters at cornerback outside of Bradley Roby.

Butler is fresh off of a strong year with the Titans, having started all 16 games and recorded four interceptions, 14 defended passes and 100 combined tackles for a PFF grade of 71.6 on the year. 

OverTheCap has his 2020 valuation set at $7.8 million, a figure the Texans would have to negotiate down if they were to be able to fit Butler into their current $16.7 million projected cap space given they still have numerous other voids to fill.

The Texans have often been criticized for the number of Patriots links within their franchise, particularly throughout Bill O'Brien's tenure with the team. Frequently described as the 'Patriots South' or 'Patriots 2.0,' for once the Texans should use this to strengthen their team and bring Butler in.

If Caserio is somehow able to get this deal done, it would go a long way to improving this porous defense and appeasing Houstonians who, if social media is to be believed, are less than thrilled with the state of their organization at the present time.

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