Three years ago Malcolm Butler was a Super Bowl hero. In last night’s Super Bowl loss to the Eagles he was benched. He did not participate in a single defensive snap despite playing over 97% in the regular season. He only took part in a single special teams snap.
Bill Belichick offered an odd explanation for his use of Butler.
Bill Belichick says the decision to bench Malcolm Butler is the same as any other: "We put the players and game plan out there that we thought would be the best” https://t.co/nBTtLeScXy pic.twitter.com/SE8PvCCPXu— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 5, 2018
This would be the defining decision in the career of any other coach in the NFL because it was so illogical and worked so poorly. The Patriots benched a guy who barely came off the field all season and got shredded through the air.
This apparently wasn’t something they prepared for all week either.
Butler understandably was emotional after the game.
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
I’m eventually working to the main point here. Butler is set to be a free agent. From the way things looked last night, it seems like the Patriots are done with him, and he is done with the Patriots. Things have been trending that way for the last year. Over the offseason rumors were rampant that Butler would be traded to New Orleans. Rather than attempt to work out a long-term deal, the Pats gave a big contract to another cornerback, Stephon Gilmore. New England doesn’t seem to think Butler is worth a long-term investment.
His defensive coordinator Matt Patricia will take over as head coach of the Lions. Normally that would seem like a logical landing spot. Newly minted coaches like to bring in guys they know. This might be an exception again because of the fact Patricia was the coordinator of the defense that made this decision.
The Jets are set to have plenty of salary cap space. Cornerback is a premium position on this defense. Butler is a better cover guy than anybody on the 2017 Jets.
Do you think there might be a match?