— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 17, 2021
The signing of another Patriots player continues what’s seemingly become a standard part of the Dolphins’ player development plan. Head coach Brian Flores’ lengthy tenure as a member of the Patriots coaching staff is likely the primary reason for that approach.
Butler, who turns 27 next month, played for the Patriots from 2017 to 2020, starting just 12 games over the course of his time with the team.
Last season, Butler started in four contests and picked up four sacks, while also making a career-high 34 stops during the 2020 campaign.
Butler is likely to be used in a reserve capacity by Flores, who’s looking to fill holes and bolster the depth of the entire Dolphins’ defense prior to next month’s draft.
Last season, the paths of the Dolphins and Patriots went in different directions, with the Dolphins narrowly missing a playoff berth and finishing with a 10-6 record. That came after a miserable 5-11 season in 2019.
In contrast, the Patriots dropped from 12-4 in 2019 to 7-9 last season, with the departure of legendary quarterback Tom Brady seen as a chief reason for the decline.