Free agent linebacker Victor Butler left Philadelphia Tuesday without a deal, but there is still mutual interest between him and the Eagles, according to a league source.
The obvious guess here is that Butler is seeking a certain dollar amount that no team has been willing to match up to this point. In addition to the Eagles, he has met with the Browns, Saints and Steelers. All four teams are expected to run a 3-4 or some kind of hybrid in 2013.
Clearly, there’s interest in the 25-year-old, but only at the right price.
Butler (6-2, 245) spent his first four NFL seasons with the Cowboys, stuck behind Anthony Spencer. He only played 28.2 percent of Dallas’ snaps last year, according to Pro Football Focus. Butler has played outside linebacker in a 3-4, but it’s possible the Eagles see him as someone who could offer positional versatility.
In his career, on passing downs, Butler has rushed the QB 80.5 percent of the time and dropped back into coverage 19.5 percent of the time, per PFF.
If Chip Kelly’s Oregon teams are any indication, the Eagles could very well plan on utilizing some kind of rotation on defense. They currently have outside linebackers Trent Cole, Brandon Graham and Connor Barwin on the roster. Vinny Curry likely projects there too.
Some 3-4 teams keep as many as nine linebackers on the roster. Both the Packers and Steelers had that many when they broke camp last season.