The St. Louis Rams have signed free agent safety James Butler, the team announced today.
“It is always good when you get an opportunity to obtain a player that you are familiar with,” said Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo who coached Butler as defensive coordinator of the New York Giants from 2007-08. “James has an understanding of our defensive system and will be a valuable addition to our team.”
Butler, 26, spent the last four seasons with the Giants after entering the NFL as an undrafted rookie free agent with the team in 2005.
Butler, 6-3 and 215 pounds, played in 15 games with a career-high 14 starts in 2008. Butler established career highs with 76 tackles (45 solo) and three interceptions. Butler’s six passes defensed tied a career high. Butler started at strong safety for the Giants in the NFC Divisional Playoff game vs. Philadelphia (1/11/09) and recorded eight tackles (five solo).
In his four-year NFL career, Butler has played in 58 regular season games with 27 starts. He has registered 174 tackles (106 solo), six interceptions and 21 passes defensed. Butler has seen action in seven career postseason games with five starts. He started all four games at strong safety for the Giants during the 2007 postseason as the team won Super Bowl XLII over the previously unbeaten New England Patriots.
A native of Bainbridge, Ga., Butler started 25 of 48 career games at Georgia Tech, including every game in his final two collegiate seasons. Butler was a two-time first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection with the Yellow Jackets and a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, given to the nation’s top defensive back as a senior in 2004. Butler earned ACC All-Academic honors in two seasons at Georgia Tech.