Butler spoke on FS1 Thursday, answering questions about Bryant and his future with the Cowboys.
“100 percent,” Butler answered, when asked if he would have been more productive than Bryant if he had the opportunities.
The San Diego State product was a seventh round pick by the Oakland Raiders in the 2013 NFL Draft. He piled up 383 yards and two scores on 30 catches in two seasons with the Raiders, before joining the Cowboys in 2015. Butler had 12 catches for 258 yards in seven games during his first season in Dallas.
He had 16 grabs for 219 yards and three scores in 16 games in 2016. This season, Butler had 15 catches for a career-best 317 yards and three scores. Butler never recorded more than 350 receiving yards in a season in three seasons at USC or at San Diego State.
He told FS1 that his teammates’ salaries played into his playing time this season.
“I think in this league, when you think about the business aspect, I think you’ve gotta follow the money trail,” Butler said. “Both of our starters made money. There were times last year were I’m thinking: ‘I’m making plays. Aren’t we trying to win? Why am I not on the field?'”
Bryant, 29, signed a five-year, $ 70 million contract in 2015 with the Cowboys. Terrance Williams, the Cowboys’ other starting wide receiver, received a four-year, $ 17 million contract last offseason. Bryant has been the Cowboys’ default No. 1 option for years, but this season he hauled in 69 catches for 838 yards and six scores. He failed to reach 1,000 receiving yards for the third consecutive season. He also averaged a career-worst 12.1 yards per reception.
Butler, 27, led the Cowboys in receiving with 50 yards and a touchdown in Week 17. He is a free agent this offseason. Butler said that he didn’t know if he would be back with the Cowboys, but there would have to be some changes made.
He told FS1 that he isn’t going back to Dallas if he isn’t a starter in 2018.
The Cowboys front office admitted earlier this month it was evaluating Bryant’s future with the franchise after his “frustrating” season.