With a surplus at running back and just three healthy cornerbacks, the Bills on Tuesday made their seventh roster addition thus far this regular season by signing free agent CB Jerametrius Butler, formerly of the St. Louis Rams and, briefly, the Washington Redskins. Butler joins QB Craig Nall, TE Michael Gaines, TE Matt Murphy, DE Copeland Bryan, LB Leon Joe and S Bryan Scott as new Bills since Opening Day; to make room for Butler on the roster, the Bills released reserve running back Josh Scobey.
Butler is yet another smart signing for the Bills due to his years of experience playing in a Cover-2 based scheme in St. Louis under Lovie Smith. The signing brings familiarity for the Bills, as current defensive coordinator Perry Fewell was Butler's positional coach in St. Louis before taking a similar position in Chicago under Smith. Butler is a quick, fluid athlete with OK size (5'10", 185) and solid ball skills. He's never been known as an above-average tackler, so it's likely that Butler will never see more than sub-package work in this defense.
The important part of this signing is that given his base knowledge of the defensive system, he'll be able to contribute right away - even if it's just in a limited capacity. Rest assured that he's a better option outside than Scott, a safety by trade who was forced to play corner some in New England on Sunday. Butler will assume that role, and could hold onto it even after Terrence McGee fully recovers from his rib injury.
The loss of Scobey is not a big issue. With five running backs on the roster, Scobey's role as backup kick returner and special teams "ace" was a luxury the team simply could not afford at this point. Butler will be just as capable a replacement as a specialist.
Thoughts on the signing?