New England Patriots needed Malcolm Butler more than Belichick's ego

Posted February 06, 2018

Rowe admitted post-game that he only knew he was starting over Butler right before the game began.

"You know it, I know it, the country knows it - and most importantly, the Patriots themselves know it - that keeping Malcolm Butler on the bench cost them Super Bowl LII", Curran writes. They didn't feel comfortable. "I don't know. But I could have changed that game".

The decision even has some long-term consequences as this all but shuts the door on Butler - unrestricted free agent - returning to New England next year.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick claimed post-game that Butler's benching wasn't a disciplinary decision, but merely due to the specifics of their gameplan against the Eagles. I'm having fun. The team's doing good. I had nothing but great things to say about the organization. While this season was a bit of a down year for Butler, he is still capable of performing at a high level.

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Because if they hadn't chose to bench cornerback Malcolm Butler - Butler, and the man who replaced him, Eric Rowe, didn't find out about it until right before kickoff - New England may have won its sixth Lombardi Trophy. Solder was drafted by the Patriots in the first round of the 2011 draft out of the University of Colorado, and the 29-year-old started every game for New England this season.

That Butler wasn't a part of the game plan was a surprise, as he played 97.8 percent of the defensive snaps in the regular season.

"We're all just there ready to go", he said.

Bill Belichick is one of the leading coaches in National Football League history, with a record-shattering five Super Bowl wins to his name. "It is what it is", Butler said, per ESPN's Mike Reiss.

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'He's a very emotional guy. So why didn't the rising star hit the field one time for Super Bowl 52?

Butler missed Thursday's practice with what the Patriots described as an "illness".

That shit was some power trip shit, feel me? "If you don't work at your team now in the spring", he told Welch, "you're probably gonna pay for it in November".

Belichick did ultimately take the blame for his team's loss on Sunday. "I'm sure the players felt the same way, but in the end, we have to make the decisions that we feel are best for the football team".

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Butler, who was sick all week but did not think that would affect his status, tried to stay silent after the game, telling an NFL.com reporter "I ain't got nothing to say", but ultimately could not keep his true feelings to himself much longer.