Shalise Manza Young of The Boston Globe reports the New England Patriots have released cornerback Darius Butler.
Butler himself confirmed the news on Twitter.
"Its been real New England. I was blessed to have a chance to play and start my NFL career here. But its time to open a new chapter. Thx #patsnation", Butler wrote.
Selected with the 41st overall pick of the 2009 NFL Draft, Butler started five of 14 games as a rookie, totaling 35 tackles and three interceptions. In 2010, Butler started three of 15 games, but had just 23 tackles and zero interceptions and has fallen behind Devin McCourty, Leigh Bodden, Kyle Arrington and 2011 second-round pick Ras-I Dowling on the depth chart.
Butler has two years and $1.41 million remaining on his four-year, $4.325 million rookie contract, and figures to be a popular player on the NFL's waiver wire.