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Brice Butler will leave Cowboys in free agency if he can’t get starting opportunity

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The San Francisco 49ers will likely spend some salary cap and draft capital on the wide receiver position this fall. They have some solid options up and down the depth chart, but I suspect they will want to bring in some competition, if not a clear No. 1 option.

One name that I’ve seen people occasionally chat about is Brice Butler of the Dallas Cowboys. The one-time seventh round pick of the Oakland Raiders (2013) has five years under his belt, but has never really broken through. Over the course of five seasons between the Raiders and Cowboys, Butler has averaged 15 receptions and 235 yards per season. The Raiders packaged him in September 2015 with a sixth round pick to grab a fifth from the Cowboys in the 2016 NFL Draft.

Last week, Butler did a couple television and radio appearances, and in them he said that if he is not going to get a legit shot at a starting role in Dallas, he will not return. He recognized that his role last year, “was to be the deep-threat guy, the down-the-field guy.” However, he feels he can do more, and wants an opportunity to do more.

Butler has intriguing size at 6’3, 215 pounds, and ran a 4.37 40 at his Pro Day. Even if you add some time on to that 4.37, it’s still impressive for a guy his size. He doesn’t have the numbers to justify a particularly huge contract, but I would not be surprised to see him land a decent deal that is a little more than just a one-year prove it contract. We saw the 49ers bring over Marquise Goodwin on a two-year deal, and he emerged as a solid presence getting more opportunities than as just a deep threat.

The 49ers would provide a place for Butler to compete, but their depth chart would not be conducive to him just walking in and landing a starting job. The 49ers will welcome back Pierre Garçon from injury, and we saw Goodwin’s emergence, and the solid play of Trent Taylor and Kendrick Bourne. That’s not to say they can’t afford to find upgrades, but I’m not sure I see it happening in Butler.