Malcolm Butler, arguably one of the best corners in the NFL, was benched on the biggest stage in sports. The hero from Super Bowl 49 found himself riding the bench in Super Bowl 52.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick called the benching a coaching decision and left it at that, but there had to be more considering Malcolm took first team reps on defense all week leading up to the Super Bowl.
We’re now getting perhaps some explanation why he was benched. There are reports that Malcolm missed curfew and had weed in his possession, this came from a Pro Football Focus writer:
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
Not sure if this is true or not, but based on Malcolm’s response after the game, he feels the team gave up on him:
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
Here’s the thing, unless Malcolm Butler is selling weapons of mass destruction to Syria, you freaking play him. This decision makes no sense. If this curfew thing is true, how about you fine him, or sit him the first series. Sitting him the whole game? Come on man, that’s harsh. And if that’s the case, why not deactivate him? Why was he active, taking a spot on the roster when one of the deactivated players could have been plugged in.
Butler is an unrestricted free agent this offseason, Belichick didn’t elaborate any more on the decision today so Bill is either helping Malcolm by not airing out his dirty laundry, or it truly was a coaches decision. A very bad one at that. Brandon Browner had some strong words about it that I can’t say I disagree with:
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
Jordan Richards or Eric Rowe are never a better option than Malcolm Butler. Period. Tom missed out on a 6th title because of either a power trip or a stupid decision. That doesn’t sit well with me, and I can’t imagine it sits well with Tom.