Published: Wed, March 14, 2018
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Dion Lewis leaving Patriots to join Derrick Henry in Titans backfield

Dion Lewis leaving Patriots to join Derrick Henry in Titans backfield

Butler now lands in Tennessee with former Patriots linebacker Mike Vrabel taking over as the new head coach, in addition to general manager Jon Robinson, who served various roles in New England's personnel department from 2002 to 2013.

While Lewis had his moments in the sun with New England, Butler became a full-fledged star after his Super Bowl XLIX pick. Butler has forced four fumbles, picked off seven passes and defensed 44 of them over the last three seasons, while playing in all 48 games. In 2016, he had four interceptions and was a first-team All-Pro on Pro Football Focus.

Butler's Patriots career ended on a unusual, disappointing note as Bill Belichick benched him for all defensive snaps in Super Bowl LII.

Butler is the second marquee free agent that the Patriots have let go along with wide receiver Danny Amendola, who is signing with the Miami Dolphins.

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. Butler played out the season on his restricted tender of $3.9 million.

If Butler signs with Detroit when NFL Free Agency kicks off on Wednesday, that would be a pretty awesome introductory press conference. When the Patriots loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, Butler was stationed on the sideline, never seeing a snap.

After the game, Butler told ESPN's Mike Reiss and Schefter that the Patriots "gave up" on him. Butler will also get his chance at revenge when the Patriots take on the Titans, in Tennessee, next season. Considering Butler and Ryan were teamed up for those two seasons, it's fair to assume the former can return to being the dominant cover corner he proved to be during that time. Although Butler's end story with the Patriots wasn't pretty, he won't be an easy guy to replace on the field.

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