The signing of Stephen Cooper back on the team means that the team has a lot of confidence in Donald Butler to be the opening day starter at middle linebacker next to Takeo Spikes. Cooper has been with the team for 8 seasons and has been the starter for the last 4 years, but this year he will be taking more of a mentor role.
Butler missed all of last season with an achilles injury but now he has recovered and has had a strong camp. The Coop signing means that Butler gets a chance to be the starter. I have not seen enough of Butler to make an opinion yet, but there are 3 more preseason games and a whole regular season if he is given that opportunity. As long as he is out there making plays, we should be good, otherwise we have Coop to jump right back in as a starter.