The New England Patriots need help at cornerback, and they're considering all options -- including one that might raise a few eyebrows.
The Patriots are hosting free-agent cornerback Malcolm Butler for a tryout Monday at Gillette Stadium, The Boston Globe's Ben Volin reports.
Butler has plenty of history with New England: Signed as an undrafted free agent in 2014, Butler intercepted Russell Wilson at the goal line to help the Patriots win Super Bowl XLIX. Three years later, he was mysteriously benched for the team's Super Bowl LII loss to the Philadelphia Eagles and signed a five-year, $65 million contract with the Tennessee Titans prior to the 2018 season.
Butler inked a one-year deal with the Arizona Cardinals in 2021 but retired in August due to personal reasons. He's reportedly eyeing an NFL comeback, however, and visited with Nick Caserio's Houston Texans earlier this month.
While Butler sat out the 2021 season, he was a very effective player for Tennessee in 2020, racking up 100 tackles, four interceptions and 14 passes defensed in 16 starts.
Butler and the Patriots would be a surprising pairing considering how his New England tenure ended, but the NFL is a business, and if Bill Belichick believes the 32-year-old can help his team, then perhaps Butler will come back aboard.