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Donald Butler | Linebacker | #56

Team: Miami Dolphins
Age / DOB:  (28) / 10/17/1988
Ht / Wt:  6'1' / 242
College: Washington
Drafted: 2010 / Rd. 3 (79) / SD
Contract: view contract details
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Latest News

Recent News

Dolphins signed ILB Donald Butler.
Butler was signed after working out with Nate Irving and A.J. Hawk. A Chargers washout, Butler made it about six weeks on the Cardinals' roster this summer. Still only 27, Butler has lots of theoretical talent, but was widely accused of quitting on the team in San Diego. The Dolphins will assess if he's a lost cause. He might only make it a few days on the 53-man roster. Sep 13 - 5:41 PM

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Player News

Date:

Cardinals released ILB Donald Butler.

Butler infamously packed it in for the Chargers before getting cut in March. It took him four months to find a new home with the Cardinals. Butler's film and word of mouth will be working against him going forward.
Sep 2 - 5:10 PM

Cardinals signed ILB Donald Butler, formerly of the Chargers, to a one-year, $800,000 contract.

Butler was given a seven-year, $51.8 million extension in 2014, but quit on the team after getting paid and was run out of town back in March. Beat writer Kevin Acee went as far to call Butler a "thief" after he "stole from the team." Butler was Pro Football Focus' 51st-ranked inside linebacker out of 60 qualifiers last season. He'll compete for a gig behind Kevin Minter and Deone Bucannon.
Jul 27 - 3:00 PM

The Union-Tribune San Diego believes the "lasting image" of free agent ILB Donald Butler in San Diego will be "that of a thief."

Normally positive and always professional reporter Kevin Acee built on his Thursday Twitter criticism in a blog post. Acee says he finds it "(difficult to understand) how a man with any pride could even have shown up at Chargers Park the past year or so with as much as Butler stole from the team." Acee is convinced Butler "lost interest" after getting his contract extension, and believes there were games "after which his uniform might have actually been clean." Acee also believes Butler may have attempted a turnaround in 2015, but that it was already too late. If Acee has noticed these things, you can be certain other front offices have, as well.
Mar 3 - 8:04 PM

The Union-Tribune San Diego's Kevin Acee called free agent ILB Donald Butler's performance after his 2014 contract extension the "worst money grab I've personally witnessed ... outside Jared Gaither."

Acee added that Butler "gave up on the team and fans long ago." The Chargers gave Butler a "seven-year, $51.8 million" extension early in the 2014 offseason. Butler proceeded to rank 58th among 60 qualified inside linebackers in Pro Football Focus' 2014 charts, and 51st among 60 ILBs in 2015. Acee isn't usually so brash with ripping players, so this one stood out to us. Perhaps going back on the market will help renew underachieving Butler's motivation.
Mar 3 - 3:40 PM

Chargers released ILB Donald Butler.

The move creates $9.410 million in cap space, but leaves behind a whopping $18.69 million in dead money. Those numbers fall to $4.65 million and $4.63 million, respectively, if Butler is designated as a post-June 1 cut. Butler is just two years removed from inking a "seven-year, $51.8 million" extension — which in reality was a three-year, $19.8 million pact — but was reduced to backup duties down the stretch last year. He's declined steadily. Butler turns 28 in October.
Mar 3 - 1:44 PM

Chargers ILB Donald Butler revealed at OTAs that he underwent "a couple surgeries" in the offseason.

"I'm healthy again," insisted Butler, who is one of the most overpaid defensive players in the league. After the Chargers used a second-round draft pick on Miami (FL) thumper Denzel Perryman, it's fair to wonder if Butler might lose his starting job. The Chargers also have Manti Te'o at inside linebacker.
Mon, Jun 1, 2015 04:35:00 PM

Chargers placed ILB Donald Butler on injured reserve with a dislocated elbow, ending his season.

So much for holding off on sending Butler to I.R., as coach Mike McCoy suggested they would Monday. Butler is a leader on defense, but he's really struggled in the first year of a seven-year, $51.8 million extension. Butler hasn't played a full 16-game season since his 2011 rookie season. Kavell Conner, Reggie Walker, and Andrew Gachkar will see their roles increased next to Manti Te'o.
Mon, Dec 15, 2014 07:23:00 PM

Chargers ILB Donald Butler has been diagnosed with a dislocated elbow, and is likely done for the regular season.

Per coach Mike McCoy, the team will hold off on sending Butler to injured reserve. The Bolts likely hope Butler could be ready for a potential playoff run. In the first season of a seven-year, $51.8 million deal, Butler has started 13-of-14 games. He's been largely ineffective, struggling in coverage while getting nuked against the run. His loss thins the Bolts' depth, but isn't a death blow.
Mon, Dec 15, 2014 01:21:00 PM

Chargers ILB Donald Butler (quad) is active for Sunday night's Week 14 game against the Patriots.

Butler missed practice Friday, but will play though his quad injury. The Chargers inactives are WR Dontrelle Inman, RB Ronnie Brown, OG Jeff Baca, NT Damion Square, TE David Johnson, NT Ryan Carrethers, and LB Cordarro Law.
Sun, Dec 7, 2014 07:12:00 PM

Updating previous items, ILB Donald Butler's new "seven-year" deal is actually a three-year, $19.8 million contract.

The on-paper value is $51.8 million over seven seasons, but the Bolts have a $12 million club option available after three years. Butler's signing bonus is $11.15 million. Before the option, Butler's deal is a three-year commitment worth $6.6 million annually. It's still a more team-friendly contract than the Dolphins gave Dannell Ellerbe in 2013. Ellerbe makes $6.95 million a year.
Wed, Mar 5, 2014 11:21:00 PM

Chargers ILB Donald Butler's new seven-year contract has a max value of $48 million, with $28 million guaranteed.

The monetary numbers look big, but are less so when stretched across seven seasons. The annual average is under $7 million even with incentives built in. The Dolphins gave ILB Dannell Ellerbe a per-year average of $6.95 million last March. Butler is only 25, so a deal like this makes sense for this particular player. The first three years of Butler's deal are worth just under $20 million, and the Chargers essentially hold a club "option" for the remaining four seasons.
Mon, Mar 3, 2014 11:40:00 AM

Chargers re-signed ILB Donald Butler to a multi-year contract.

The 25-year-old was the top projected free agent on the inside linebacker market. A 2010 third-round pick out of Washington, Butler's career started slow with an Achilles' tendon tear but he's come on strong the past three seasons as a versatile three-down 'backer with plus coverage skills. He's an ascending player. The second level of DC John Pagano's 2014 defense should be all but set now, with Butler and Manti Te'o inside, and Dwight Freeney bookended by a healthy Melvin Ingram at outside linebacker. Look for GM Tom Telesco to attack cornerback and nose tackle in free agency and May's draft.
Fri, Feb 28, 2014 02:54:00 PM

The Union-Tribune San Diego reports ILB Donald Butler remains the Chargers' "top priority" in free agency, and believes a long-term deal will "ultimately get done."

The sides are negotiating at the Combine, and both coach Mike McCoy and GM Tom Telesco have been lathering on praise. Rotoworld's No. 1 free-agent inside linebacker, Butler is a strong candidate for the franchise tag if the Bolts don't believe they can reach a long-term agreement before the start of free agency.
Thu, Feb 20, 2014 10:19:00 PM

The Chargers and free agent ILB Donald Butler have resumed contract negotiations.

The two sides broke off talks ahead of the 2013 season and had planned to rekindle them after the Super Bowl. Both the Chargers and Butler would like to get something hammered out before free agency opens on March 11. The franchise tag is a possibility, though the Bolts would like to use it as a tool to buy more time to pound out a long-term deal this offseason rather than commit $10 million. Butler checks in as our No. 1 free-agent inside linebacker.
Source: ESPN.com
Thu, Feb 13, 2014 11:04:00 AM

Depth Charts

Skill Players
PosRoleName
QB1Ryan Tannehill
2Matt Moore
RB1Jay Ajayi
2Damien Williams
3Kenyan Drake
GLB1Jay Ajayi
2Damien Williams
3RB1Jay Ajayi
2Damien Williams
WR11Jarvis Landry
2Leonte Carroo
3Jakeem Grant
WR21Kenny Stills
2DeVante Parker
WR31DeVante Parker
TE1Jordan Cameron
2Dion Sims
3MarQueis Gray
4Dominique Jones
LT1Branden Albert
LG1Laremy Tunsil
2Kraig Urbik
C1Mike Pouncey
2Anthony Steen
3Jake Brendel
RG1Jermon Bushrod
RT1Ja'Wuan James
2Sam Young
K1Andrew Franks