The Malcolm Butler Saga Continues

Just when we thought the Malcolm Butler story seemed to go away, it comes back.  Devin McCourty said today that the whole team knew that he wasn’t starting Super Bowl 52.  Some may say this isn’t big, but it actually is.  This confirms that this really was a “football decision.”  This wasn’t disciplinary at all.

So just how bad was Butler in practice the week of the Super Bowl?  He was so sick that he missed the team flight out to Minnesota to stay an extra day in the hospital.  Because he was this ill, he had to have been just god awful in practice.  So bad that Belichick decided that a 100% Eric Rowe was better than a (insert percentage here) Malcolm Butler.

Remember when Butler said that the team “Gave up on him”?  Can you give up on someone who truly wasn’t 100%?  Bill knew he wasn’t 100% and he knew he wasn’t coming back next season (most likely).  Is this giving up, or simply just moving on?  Let’s not forget, the Patriots were a strip sack away from winning the Super Bowl.  However; did Butler say the team gave up on him to perhaps throw them under the bus to make himself more attractive in free agency?

Butler knew he wasn’t coming back most likely.  Perhaps he was frustrated (which is understandable) and he said something after the game because emotion was running high.  He said that he could’ve changed that game, and maybe he could but I’m not going to what if this to death.  But if the team knew this well in advance, then why did Rowe say he found out right before kickoff?

We’ve also found out that Rowe “wasn’t surprised” that he played almost every snap in the game (72 of 75).  So something isn’t adding up.  Did Rowe say that he didn’t find out until close to kick because it’s true?  Or did he say it because he was trying to help out Butler by seemingly taking his side in the ordeal?  So what we’ve added to this is McCourty (and the rest of team) knew that Butler wasn’t playing and Eric Rowe wasn’t surprised that he played nearly every snap.

This really was a football move.  What I wish I knew was just how bad Butler was in practice that got him turned down for all but one special teams snap.  One this for certain, this team really needs to invest in a complimentary piece to Gilmore or else this team isn’t to win Super Bowl 53.

-Brian Berard (@RockyBerard)

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