Home Sports Titans: Why former Patriots DB Malcolm Butler says he was benched in...

Titans: Why former Patriots DB Malcolm Butler says he was benched in Super Bowl


Titans general manager Jon Robinson said he’s happy with the team’s depth at the NFL Combine.
Jason Wolf / USA TODAY Network – Tennessee

Former Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler, an unrestricted free agent who agreed to sign with the Titans on Tuesday, explained his mysterious benching in Super Bowl LII in an interview with the Boston Herald on Wednesday.

Butler said he got sick, went to a hospital and “wasn’t as locked in as I should be and could have been a matchup deal.” He said he holds no grudge against coach Bill Belichick or the Patriots, and he alluded to the coach’s decision to play him as an undrafted rookie in Super Bowl XLIX, a victory he sealed with a goal-line interception against Seattle.

“I never got a reason,” Butler said during an interview with Patriots beat reporter Jeff Howe, before attempting to explain why he played just a single snap on special teams in New England’s loss to the Eagles in Super Bowl LII. 

“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 (against the Eagles). 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.”

ALSO READ   5 Patriots games to look forward to in 2018

The Titans agreed to sign Butler to a five-year, $61.25 million contract with $30 million guaranteed, an NFL source told The Tennessean on Tuesday. The deal includes a $10 million signing bonus. It has not officially been announced by the team. 

The 5-foot-11, 190-pound Butler, an undrafted free agent in 2014, helped New England reach three Super Bowls, winning two of them, in his four pro seasons.

After New England’s loss to Philadelphia in February, Belichick said that Butler’s benching was not disciplinary and described it as a decision that gave the Patriots the best chance to win.

In Tennessee, Butler joins a secondary that includes former Patriots veteran Logan Ryan and Adoree’ Jackson, the 18th overall pick in last year’s draft.

Reach Jason Wolf at jwolf@tennessean.com and follow him on Twitter @JasonWolf and on Instagram and Snapchat at TitansBeat.


Show Thumbnails

Show Captions




Leave a Reply