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Jake Butt fell to Broncos because of injury, landing $500K+ insurance payout

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The Michigan tight end is coming off an ACL tear.

NCAA Football: Central Florida at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Former Michigan tight end Jake Butt tore an ACL in the Wolverines’ Orange Bowl loss to Florida State last December. Butt, a senior then, was playing in his final college game before the NFL draft. He didn’t skip his bowl like a few high picks did.

Whether because of his injury or something else, Butt lasted a while once the draft came around. He went 145th overall as the first pick in the fifth round to the Broncos on Saturday afternoon.

Butt was not a consensus top-100 prospect in the first place, so it’s difficult to say how much impact on his draft stock the ACL tear had. Still, he didn’t go early, and it seems clear that he at least lost some draft value because of the injury.

Butt lost money for every pick that went by without him going off the board. But he’s got an insurance policy that will reportedly pay him handsomely for his troubles.

ESPN’s Darren Rovell reported that Butt has up to a $2 million “loss-of-value” policy to compensate him for falling down draft boards. The policy took effect in the middle of the third round and pays out $10,000 for every non-Butt pick, Rovell said.

Policies of this nature are common, and they often lead to legal challenges when players go to collect. It’s not clear how much Butt will actually collect, or what specific rules might come into play. But if Butt turns out to get $10,000 per pick from the middle of the third round onward (a total of 60 picks), he’d get $600,000.

The final number’s reportedly just below that:

Butt said via ProFootballTalk that the money is not entirely correct.

“I’ve been following that insurance policy, and it’s really not completely accurate,” Butt said. “There’s a lot more that’s going into that than what’s being tweeted today. I really don’t know. It could be ‘X’ amount of dollars. It could be ‘Y’ amount of dollars. There’s so much more that will go into it than I’m able to understand right now, and that’s going to be something that I have to speak to with my agent and my dad and some lawyers about.”

Butt was a quality tight end at Michigan for four seasons, but his career really took off in the last two. He was a key part of Jim Harbaugh’s pro-style offense and went more than 1,000 yards with seven touchdowns in 2015 and 2016.