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Arizona Cardinals’ Malcolm Butler out again amid reports of retirement

Aug 2, 2021; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals cornerback Malcolm Butler (21) performs a drill during training camp at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 2, 2021; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals cornerback Malcolm Butler (21) performs a drill during training camp at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona Cardinals defensive back Malcolm Butler missed a second consecutive practice Tuesday amid reports the two-time Super Bowl champion is considering retirement for personal reasons.

The Cardinals seem to be in the dark about Butler’s status and future.

NFL Network reported Monday night that Butler is going through a personal situation that has put stepping away from the game on the table.

The Cardinals signed Butler to a one-year, fully guaranteed $3.25 million deal in the offseason to help bandage the loss of All-Pro cornerback Patrick Peterson in free agency.

Butler, 31, was slated to start opposite Byron Murphy. Robert Alford is currently on the reserve/COVID-19 list. That leaves the Cardinals with rookies Marco Wilson and Tay Gowan as well as Luq Barcoo at cornerback as they prepare for their Week 1 game against Tennessee on Sept. 12.

Butler has 17 career interceptions in 100 games (84 starts) with the New England Patriots and Tennessee Titans, who cut Butler in the offseason in a cost-saving move. He made the Pro Bowl in 2015 and won two Super Bowls with the Patriots.

In 2020, he made a career-high 100 tackles and registered four interceptions and 14 passes defensed for the Titans.

It was at the Cardinals’ home field in Glendale, Ariz., where Butler made the most memorable play of his career: the interception of a Russell Wilson pass at the goal line in the waning minutes of Super Bowl XLIX in 2015. It sealed the New England Patriots’ 28-24 win over the Seattle Seahawks.

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–Field Level Media