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NFL roster moves: Patriots release CB Darius Butler

With the St. Louis Rams looking for help in the nickel back role, the thinning free agent market offers a few opportunities. We mentioned a few players yesterday that would fit the bill. Today, the Patriots added another name to the list, cornerback Darius Butler

A second-round pick in 2009, Butler has since fallen out of favor with the Patriots. His athleticism made him an attractive option for defense once based on opportunity. Shaky play last year and a changing paradigm in New England made him expendable. 

A zone specialist, he never excelled as a press man coverage guy. He's young enough and possesses enough raw talent that a change of scenery might be just what the doctor ordered. You worry about his lack of physicality in Spagnuolo and Flajole's defense, but working in zone as part of the nickel package, he might be fit. The Rams have a pretty good touch with defensive backs, so it might be a good fit. 

Another player to keep an eye on as the Rams continue to monitor the waiver wire. 

Here's Butler's prospect scouting report from 2009