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Victor Butler tears ACL at New Orleans Saints practice

New defensive coordinator Rob Ryan brought outside linebacker Victor Butler to the New Orleans Saints from the Dallas Cowboys with the hope that Butler could emerge as the team's best pass rusher. Those hopes now are dashed.

Darlington: Sean Payton, Version 2.0

Sean Payton underwent a transformation during his year away from football. The Saints have noticed, Jeff Darlington writes. **More ...**'s Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday that Butler tore his anterior cruciate ligament during Tuesday's organized team activities after a collision with running back Mark Ingram. Larry Holder of The Times-Picayune first reported the news.

It's a brutal blow for a player whom we thought could break out in 2013. It's also devastating for the Saints, who badly need the pass-rush help.

Butler was one of the four players competing to be Ryan's "Jack" linebacker in 2013. That's essentially the glamour position in a 3-4 defense, the position that gets the most opportunities to record big sack totals. We thought Butler was the favorite for the role because of the explosive skills he showed when given the chance with the Cowboys.

Martez Wilson, Junior Galette and Will Smith remain as candidates to play the "Jack" position this season in New Orleans. This all but ensures all three men will be on the Saints' roster this year.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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