JUST IN: Detroit Lions ‘quite interested’ in former Super Bowl hero

On March 14th at 4:00 p.m. EST, the 2018 NFL league year will officially begin and the free agency period will be underway.

One team who is expected to be very active in free agency is the Detroit Lions, who have plenty of holes to fill on their roster if they want to contend in 2018. According to reports, Lions general manager Bob Quinn was very interested in former All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman, who had just been released by the Seattle Seahawks but Sherman ended up signing a three-year, $39 million deal with the San Francisco 49ers.

Now, a report has surfaced that Quinn and the Lions are “quite interested” in another big name cornerback.

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According to Michael Giardi of NBC Sports Boston, the Lions have their eye on former New England Patriots Super Bowl hero, Malcolm Butler.

In fact, according to Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network, the race to land Butler is down to the Lions and the Houston Texans.

“The Detroit Lions expected to be one of the teams here that is going to make the strongest push for Malcolm Butler,” Garafolo said.

“Seems like it’s a two-team race right now,” Garafolo said.

Butler, who was signed by the Patriots as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2014, had the spotlight on him for the wrong reasons during Super Bowl LII. He did not play a single defensive snap in the Super Bowl against the Philadelphia Eagles, despite starting 47 of the previous 48 regular season games for New England.

Following the conclusion of the game, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick insisted it was a coaches decision and had nothing to do with disciplining Butler.

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Newly hired Lions head coach Matt Patricia, who was the Patriots defensive coordinator during Super Bowl LII, spoke highly of Butler when asked to comment about why Butler did not play on defense in the loss to the Eagles.

Via Detroit Free Press:

“I would characterize my relationship with Malcolm as extremely strong,” Patricia said Wednesday at the NFL combine. “I love Malcolm a lot. He’s like all my players, he’s like one of my sons. I want to make sure that he does everything to the best and I hope the best for him. And that’s really all I’m going to say about Malcolm.”

It will certainly be interesting to see how things play out but one thing is for certain, the Lions could use another cornerback to play alongside Darius Slay.

NOTE: Despite Garafolo saying that it is down to Houston and Detroit, there are reportedly multiple other teams also interested in Butler’s services, including the New Orleans Saints and the Oakland Raiders.

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