Teams can officially sign free agents Wednesday at 4 p.m. when the new league year begins.
Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network later tweeted the details of Butler's big-time deal with Tennessee: five years, more than $61 million, more than $30 million guaranteed. Over the past three seasons, he has started all but one game for New England and registered 190 combined tackles, two sacks, 44 passes defensed, and four forced fumbles during that span. Butler's 2015 performance made him a Pro Bowl selection. Butler joins former Patriots linebacker Mike Vrabel, former Patriots personnel man Jon Robinson and former Patriots cornerback Logan Ryan in Tennessee.
Butler, 28, has spent his entire four-year career with the Patriots after being signed as an undrafted free agent out of West Alabama. He continued to line up as New England's No. 2 corner in the AFC Divisional Round and AFC Championship, but did not play a single defensive snap in their Super Bowl LII loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, which head coach Bill Belichick said was a "football decision".
While there is a lot of stability on the Patriots roster from 2017 to 2018, the few big names that could depart are impact players.