The Patriots lost the Super Bowl last night. That’s a thing that actually happened. And to the Philadelphia Eagles of all teams. I still can’t wrap my head around it. I haven’t felt a pain like this in a very, very long time.
But what makes even less sense to me is the fact that Malcolm Butler didn’t get a single defensive snap in that game. At first, I thought that it had something to do with him being sick and joining the team late in Minnesota, but this is the god damn Super Bowl. If he says he’s good to go for the biggest game of the year, how do you not put him out there? Especially when the player we’re talking about here is Malcolm Butler, arguably the best defensive back on your roster.
Bill Belichick on Malcolm Butler: “I respect Malcolm’s competitiveness, and I’m sure he felt like he could have helped. I’m sure other players felt the same way. But in the end, we had to make the decisions that were best for the football team.”
— Zack Cox (@ZackCoxNESN) February 5, 2018
Bill has been very adamant on his stance, saying that benching Butler was solely a “football decision” and nothing more. But if that were the case, why wouldn’t he have just de-activated him before the game even started? Why make the guy dress and only throw him out there on special team? Belichick has made a lot of questionable decisions as a head coach, but benching one of your best players in the biggest game of the year and not explaining why is the most mind-boggling one of them all. What could he have possibly done to trigger that? Nobody, including myself, is going to get over this.
Butler, who now heads into free-agency this Spring, was not too happy after the game, and for good reason.
Just caught up with a very emotional Malcolm Butler, alongside Adam Schefter. “They gave up on me. F—. It is what it is,” Butler told us. https://t.co/GQLxM6eTGL
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) February 5, 2018
More from an emotional Malcolm Butler as he walked to the team bus: “I don’t know what it was. I guess I wasn’t playing good or they didn’t feel comfortable. I don’t know. But I could have changed that game.” https://t.co/FUjRvcycwG
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) February 5, 2018
Just waited on Malcolm Butler. Grab his bag and gave is a quick salute. Chased him down and asked if he got a reason why he didn’t play. “No.” And off he went.
— Michael Giardi (@MikeGiardi) February 5, 2018
It’s safe to say that we’ve seen Malcolm Butler play his last game as a New England Patriot. He has every right to be pissed off about getting benched. It’s unsettling that it has to end like this, but there really isn’t any way you can fix what happened.
You would think a guy like Butler earned the chance to play last night. He busted his ass as an undrafted rookie, made the biggest play in Patriots history, and eventually replaced Darrelle Revis to earn the starting job. Malcolm Butler was truly a Patriot for those exact reasons. This team is a collection of guys that defied all of the odds to write their own legacies. He fit that niche perfectly.
And to make matters even worse, multiple players on the Patriots roster liked a series of IG posts from former Patriot Brandon Browner, who blasted Belichick for his decision.
In a series of posts, one in which Dont’a Hightower liked, Brandon Browner shared his thoughts on the benching of Malcolm Butler. pic.twitter.com/ayyvrePlcf
— Only In Boston (@OnlyInBOS) February 5, 2018
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 5, 2018
We just lost the Super Bowl, Malcolm Butler is definitely leaving, Brady is going to be 41 next year, and Gronk could retire, so the absolute LAST thing I need to see is the locker room to get divided. But after your head coach makes a decision like that, how do you not lose even an ounce of respect for him? I sure have. “The Patriot Way” (not even sure what that means anymore) really came to bite Belichick in the ass last night.
Of course right after a posted this, a report surfaced that may explain why Butler was benched last night:
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) February 5, 2018
A family friend who I trust, is well connected in law enforcement and was in Minny this week with local cops told me Butler missed curfew, got caught with weed when he came back late to hotel, and subsequently had a meltdown on coaches
— Joey Cartolano (@JoeyPigskins) February 5, 2018
If there is any truth to this at all, then I get why Belichick did what he did. I’m not saying I agree with it by any means, but that’s just how the Patriots operate. If a player makes a mistake then they get disciplined, it’s that simple.
But I don’t buy it for a second. If this were true, then why didn’t Chandler Jones get in trouble when he was running around naked high on synthetic weed a few years back? He did end up getting traded, but Belichick didn’t sit him at all during the playoffs in 2014. Butler must have done something else because none of this adds up.
Written By: Nick Cherico (@NickCherico2)