Cardinals' Malcolm Butler Reportedly Considering Retirement for Personal Reasons

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVAugust 30, 2021

GLENDALE, AZ - AUGUST 04:  Arizona Cardinals cornerback Malcolm Butler (21) looks on during Arizona Cardinals training camp on August 4, 2021 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona  (Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Arizona Cardinals cornerback Malcolm Butler is weighing his future in the NFL because of an ongoing "personal situation," according to NFL Network's Mike Garafolo.

Mike Garafolo @MikeGarafolo

Breaking news from <a href="https://twitter.com/NFLTotalAccess?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NFLTotalAccess</a>: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AZCardinals?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AZCardinals</a> CB Malcolm Butler is dealing with a personal situation that has him mulling retirement, sources tell me. <a href="https://t.co/GIo6j7MRQX">pic.twitter.com/GIo6j7MRQX</a>

Neither the Cardinals nor Butler's agent provided a comment to Garafolo about the developing situation. The team is due to open the regular season Sept. 12 on the road against the Tennessee Titans.

NFL insider Josina Anderson confirmed Butler's status is up in the air:

IG: JosinaAnderson @JosinaAnderson

Team source confirms that <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Cardinals?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Cardinals</a> CB Malcolm Butler is contemplating retirement, as <a href="https://twitter.com/MikeGarafolo?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MikeGarafolo</a> reported. This particular source said they learned a couple of days ago and added "we don't have a clue why." When I asked what is the plan from here, they replied, "keep going."

Arizona signed him to a one-year, $3.3 million contract to help fill the void left by franchise legend Patrick Peterson.

The 31-year-old made 16 appearances for the Tennessee Titans in 2020, finishing with a career high in tackles (94) while matching his personal best with four interceptions. Despite his best efforts, the Titans still allowed the fourth-most passing yards (277.4 per game).

Garafolo's report comes on the same day the Cardinals announced they placed Darqueze Dennard on injured reserve. Robert Alford is on the NFL's reserve/COVID-19 list as well, though his return may come soon.

Still, the uncertainty around Butler couldn't come at a much worse time for Arizona. Even with teams making their final roster cuts, finding a suitable replacement at cornerback would be difficult with the regular season right around the corner.

The team selected Marco Wilson and Tay Gowan in the 2021 draft, and those two may see a lot more of the field than was originally expected if this is indeed the end of the road for Butler.

For the Cardinals, signing J.J. Watt will at least look a lot smarter since pressuring the quarterback might be their best route to slow down opposing aerial attacks.