Buffalo Bills 2022 Free Agent Profile: Defensive Tackle Vernon Butler

Vernon Butler, Buffalo Bills (Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports)
Vernon Butler, Buffalo Bills (Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports) /

The defensive line has been a point of focus the past few seasons and in 2020 the Buffalo Bills signed defensive tackle Vernon Butler as a free agent to try and help the interior of their line. However, this is a move that has not worked out and the former first round pick likely will be playing for a new franchise in 2022.

Let’s take a look at Vernon Butler’s career and what he did last year with the Buffalo Bills.

Career Overview

Vernon Butler started in the NFL with the Carolina Panthers after they selected him 30th overall in the 2016 NFL Draft. He struggled in the first three years with the Panthers, appearing in 38 games over that stretch but starting none. Butler would have only 45 total tackles, two sacks and 10 QB hits in those games.

The Panthers would elect to not pick up his fifth-year option and his final season with the Panthers was the best of his career. He would finish with 32 total tackles, six sacks, and eight QB hits.

2021 Season Recap

This appeared to be a turning point in Butler’s career and the Buffalo Bills would sign him to a two-year deal worth $15 million. When considering the talent on this defense, it seemed possible that Butler could continue at this level or possibly improve on that season.

This past season, Butler wasn’t really a factor on the defensive line even though he appeared in 44% of the defensive snaps and played in 10 games. He finished with only 11 total tackles and has yet to register a sack as a member of the Buffalo Bills.

Should the Buffalo Bills re-sign Vernon Butler?

After this past season, it would be surprising to see the Buffalo Bills bring back Vernon Butler. He seemed to fall out of the rotation after being inactive in eight games, including the playoffs.

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The defensive tackle is one that Buffalo should address this offseason but Vernon Butler is not a player they should consider.