BOSTON (CBS) — In adding free agent Stephon Gilmore to Malcolm Butler this offseason, the New England Patriots have an extremely talented pair of cornerbacks heading into the 2017 season.
All of New England knows what Butler can do on a weekly basis, and he’s done a solid job whenever thrown into the fire against the league’s elite receivers. Now with Gilmore in the mix, Bill Belichick has a bigger option in the defensive backfield to toss against the opposition’s biggest receiving threat. So who will draw the task of covering an opponent’s best receiver on a weekly basis?
Mike Reiss joined Steve Burton on WBZ-TV’s Sports Final on Sunday night to discuss the 2017 Patriots season, and said the addition of Gilmore will give the Patriots plenty of options to mix and match on defense.
“It depends what kind of receiver it is [you’re going up against]. You have Gilmore, your free agent import who is 6-foot-1, 190 pounds, and Butler, who is a smaller guy. So if you’re going against Pittsburgh and Antonio Brown, I want Butler on him. If you have a bigger receiver, I want Gilmore on him,” explained Reiss. “I think now, they actually have the ability to match up a bit.”
If you’re worried that Butler, who will be an unrestricted free agent after the season, is focused more on earning a new contract, Reiss said that the corner is locked in on the upcoming season and not next offseason.
“That guy was at the stadium last week, July 4th week, and he is checking in, one of the only players working out there behind the scenes. To me, that’s the answer to your question. He’s putting that to the…
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