Malcolm Butler is now a member of the Titans and that means his final game as a member of the Patriots saw him play just one special teams snap.
Coach Bill Belichick’s decision to bench Butler, who had played almost every snap up to that point, for Super Bowl LII has been discussed quite often since the Eagles’ 41-33 win in Minneapolis without any detailed reason for the call. Butler revisited the issue with Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald on Wednesday as he officially moved to the list of former Patriots and gave his best guess.
That guess came without any post-Super Bowl conversations with Belichick, but included a recollection of when Belichick’s decision-making involving Butler had a better result.
“I never got a reason,” Butler said. “I feel like this was the reason: I got kind of sick. I went to the hospital. They probably thought I was kind of late on the game plan; I wasn’t as locked in as I should be and could have been a matchup deal. It could have been anything. But Bill Belichick has been doing this for a very long time. He took a veteran out of Super Bowl XLIX [against the Seahawks] and put in a first-year rookie, and that turned out right, so you could never question his decision. It didn’t work out right. It didn’t work out the best for me or him or the New England Patriots. But I can say he won more than he lost, so it is what it is. I always have love for New England, Bill Belichick, Mr. Kraft, all those guys. Life just goes on.”
Butler’s five-year, $61 million contract with the Titans shows that life’s moving on pretty well after a rough night in February.