Malcolm Butler: I’ll always have love for New England

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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.

70 responses to “Malcolm Butler: I’ll always have love for New England

  1. Sad day for all Patriots to say farewell to the man who beat Seattle when it mattered most to win a Super Bowl. Malcolm – you may wear another jersey but you will always be true Patriot hero. Sincere thx and good luck.

  2. You’ll always be a hero to Pats fans. Good luck in TN and I hope you have a great season.

  3. Kept it classy..he could’ve thanked everybody but Bill and it still would’ve a been classy departure. Going out of his way to even try to take the blame when he clearly wasn’t at fault shows the type of person he is. I’m not a Pat’s hater but I truly hope they play New England in a playoff game and Butler makes the game winning play…again

  4. goodellisaclown says:
    March 14, 2018 at 7:47 pm
    So Butler finally responded. Let’s start the countdown until Patriots haters start saying Butler’s not telling the whole story. 3…2…1…
    —–
    No. He acted with class. In a call that was completely boneheaded and made zero sense, he didn’t act out, retaliate or bad mouth the coach in anyway. He moved on and did it with class.

  5. isithockeyseasonyet says:
    March 14, 2018 at 8:05 pm

    Idk it might be hard to replicate his success without knowing the other teams playbook anymore

    ———————————————————————————-

    People we are able to understand that NFL football games are recorded on game films know that playbooks are not secret because all the plays can be watched on game films. NFL Free Agency began in 1947…so its likely that players have told their new teams information from those playbooks that some people still imagine to be national secrets.

  6. “Butler…. the player who saved Bradys legacy. Plain and simple!”

    I’d say bill legacy, ironically, considering it was the defense that was about to crap the bed again after Brady gained a late lead.

    Tom lives in your head rent free.

  7. He was a hero who pulled off one of the greatest plays ever to bail out another Belichick defense that couldn’t hold a lead late in the SB.

  8. “Pass is….

    INTERCEPTED at the goal line by Malcolm Butler! UN-REAL!!”

    What could possibly ever top that as the greatest play in New England Patriots history?

  9. Malcolm will always be a hero to NE fans. And that is one heartfelt and classy statement. I hope he is happy and successful in the rest of his NFL career.

  10. I think he knew he wasn’t in the gameplan and may have even faked his flu. He cleared out his locker, flew out separately and then proceeded to have a crappy practice on Thursday, apparently blowing up at coaches.

    The crying was the capper. I questioned his mental stability after seeing that and hearing about his antics leading up the SB.

    Beatwriter, Mike Giardi said “it was a problem all year getting Butler ready for games”..That means Butler had checked out.

    Sad, really. The guy put a huge stain on his legacy because BB wouldn’t give him extended years on the contract offer

    Jon Robinson, a BB protege, is rolling the dice in Tenn. Big time. Or, the owner has told Robinson to give out such a rich contract to a player who rejected 7-8 mil per on average last offseason and went from a 78 passer rating in 2016 to having a substandard year and a 103 passer rating against, with poor games vs Tenn and Jax in the postseason, to boot.

    His head wasn’t in it. BB knew it and didn’t trust him, Patricia knew it, etc. Note how Patricia was never interested in Butler.

    Telling.

    And, Butler isn’t telling us the truth. Thanks for everything, Malcolm, but your ego got a little big and now the spotlight is on you BIG time in a far worse situation in Tenn.

    You don’t pay a zone guy that kind of money either. HE’s not a shutdown corner.

  11. uglydingo says:
    March 14, 2018 at 7:51 pm
    Sad day for all Patriots to say farewell to the man who beat Seattle when it mattered most to win a Super Bowl. Malcolm – you may wear another jersey but you will always be true Patriot hero. Sincere thx and good luck.

    ————-

    Truth is it was both Butler and Browner that made the game winning play. If Browner doesn’t jam the receiver, Butler is picked and therefore no INT. So Butler gets all the credit but it took both players making a great play to win the game.

  12. jman967 says:
    March 14, 2018 at 8:50 pm

    goodellisaclown says:
    March 14, 2018 at 7:47 pm
    So Butler finally responded. Let’s start the countdown until Patriots haters start saying Butler’s not telling the whole story. 3…2…1…
    —–
    No. He acted with class. In a call that was completely boneheaded and made zero sense, he didn’t act out, retaliate or bad mouth the coach in anyway. He moved on and did it with class.

    ——————

    Except anyone with half a brain can see he is lying. “Classy” is one way of spinning it.

    What’s classy is BB and Patricia not telling the media the truth and ruining the kid’s chances in FA.

    Butler let the team down with his selfishness and ego. Sucks, but he did it. He said he wanted to retire a Patriot and the Pats offer ws more than generous. Even Brady doesn’t get guarantees about contracts, mor does Edelman or anny other beloved PAtriot. As anyone knows, BB does not give out ultra stupid long term deals to CBs. He pays, but the lengths of the deal is the issue. Ask Samuel, ask Leigh Bodden, ask Revis, ask any CB. That position falls of QUICK and FAST. BB is the greatest GM ever for a reason and that’s one of them.

    Even the early season finger pointing of teammates knowing Gilmore had his money is a dead giveaway as he freelanced looking for INTs to drive his FA stock up.

    I’d bet money BB was trying to deal him at the deadline, but couldn’t get a good offer.

    Don’t be fooled. Butler checked out and never had his head on straight all year.
    103 passer rating against. It was 78 in 2016 and 103 in 2017. Butt hurt and a very big ego obviously ruined him.

  13. That’s classy, man. Great kid. Wished they played him in the Super Bowl. Best of luck Malcolm and THANK YOU for making that play against the Seahawks. Unbelievable.

  14. Admittedly I tend to dislike most Patriots fans. I absolutely appreciate the warm respect I see you giving a player who like a lot of you said, basically WON a super bowl.

    Much respect.

  15. Theevidencesaysotherwise says:
    March 14, 2018 at 10:01 pm

    uglydingo says:
    March 14, 2018 at 7:51 pm
    Sad day for all Patriots to say farewell to the man who beat Seattle when it mattered most to win a Super Bowl. Malcolm – you may wear another jersey but you will always be true Patriot hero. Sincere thx and good luck.

    ————-

    Truth is it was both Butler and Browner that made the game winning play. If Browner doesn’t jam the receiver, Butler is picked and therefore no INT. So Butler gets all the credit but it took both players making a great play to win the game.

    ——————

    Exactly. BB coached the kid up and then he turned that into thinking he is Mike Haynes in his prime.

    Sad, but this is what happened. If he wanted to retire a Patriot, why did he reject their more than fair offer?

    The kid got some really bad advice, but he got his money and now will flounder in Tenn the rest of his career.

    I am laughing at Jon Robinson using his Pats cache to then overpay wildly. It won’t work.

  16. gimmeabruschi says:
    March 14, 2018 at 9:13 pm

    He was a hero who pulled off one of the greatest plays ever to bail out another Belichick defense that couldn’t hold a lead late in the SB.

    ———–

    LOL

    Did Seattle, Atlanta or Philly “hold leads late in a SB?”

    Are you honestly this dumb? For 10 years Goodell has turned the NFL into an offensive playground.

    Offenses win championships now, not defenses. Defenses are shredded in SBs. Every year.

    That’s how it works. Franchises that haven’t figured this out yet, suck are mediocre or LOSE Super Bowls.

    I’ll take my great offense and good D every year, yesterday, today and tomorrow, thanks very much.

    Have you been in a coma?

  17. “At least he’s out of cheatersvill.”

    He wasn’t on the Steelers, the team with the longest, most extensive record of cheating in the NFL.

  18. “INTERCEPTED at the goal line by Malcolm Butler! UN-REAL!!”

    What could possibly ever top that as the greatest play in New England Patriots history?”

    I don’t know, Ty Law’s pick 6 of Warner in the 2001 SB is right up there with Butler’s pick

  19. If that reporting and quote is accurate…his response is first class. Well done Malcom. Great way to be.

  20. Ya he got sick when he needed an excuse probably for missing and important practice or walk through. Belly Check aint stupid he has had this played on him before. Not his first rodeo.
    The fact Belly Check did not play him or dicuss it says a lot about what Blount aint telling us and knows the truth is safe as long as belly c keeps his mouth shout.

  21. 8oneanddones says:
    March 14, 2018 at 9:30 pm
    “Pass is….

    INTERCEPTED at the goal line by Malcolm Butler! UN-REAL!!”

    What could possibly ever top that as the greatest play in New England Patriots history?
    ————————–
    “And its right down the pipe” to end Super Bowl 36. Sorry nothing can top a game ending time expiring field goal kick to win a Super Bowl against what was a very heavily favored Rams team.

  22. Best of luck, glad he got his money. He’ll never pay for a beer within a 150 mile radius of Boston. That interception was a real life movie moment I’ll never forget. I responded exactly like Brady did, screaming uncontrollably at a high pitch and jumping around. Moments like that are why I watch sports. Thanks for everything, Scrap.

  23. Thank you for everything, Malcolm. You’re a SB hero. I understand that this is a business and you earned your payday. Good luck in Tennessee – a good up and coming team.

  24. omeimontis says:
    March 14, 2018 at 8:35 pm
    There is no logical explanation for benching him, so Belichick did not even try to make one up.

    ———————-
    Actually there is a very obvious one. He was sick. He did have to go to the hospital that week and anyone thats had a bad bout of the flu knows how much it tears you up physically so its no ones fault that he was having bad practices when he tried returning. And then there is Butlers own explanation he thinks is why…he was sick and was having trouble returning to the level they needed. (See obvious reason above, notice similarity)

    The guys that want an explanation already have that. Its the guys that want dirt who are still unsatisfied.

  25. Butler’s five-year, $61 million contract with the Titans shows that life’s moving on pretty well after a rough night in February.

    Patriots (via un-name source) offer last season ( rejected by Butler last year) was 6 years 62 million

    Not much difference…… But I guess when you look at it in hindsight…. He was a good player , made a history making play in the super bowl, and was a good guy off the field. He was undrafted, the Patriots believed in him, signed him coached him and now he moves on like so many others….better payday…but no more rings

  26. Butler gave a classy reply, true Patriot fans will always have a special love for an undrafted player who delivered like he did as a rookie.

    But I heard (as was posted here) that Butler cleaned out his locker before the SB, flew out by himself and in addition to that I was told he was going around the locker room the week before the SB telling everyone I’m going to get paid, he was even saying it in front of the coaches. If this is all true I can certainly follow wht Bill benched him.

    Speaking of classy, Bill would never discuss things like this with the press. Bill keeps these things in the locker room. Other players came forward and said they weren’t surprised that he was benched for the SB.

  27. Damn… now I miss Butler more than I already did. We all knew he was moving on after this last season but the way it ended was astonishing and sad. I’m glad Butler still has his head on straight and did not let this ending change his positive attitude. I wish you well Malcolm, you deserved a better ending then you had here in NE.

  28. Except for that time they benched you for the entire SB and probably lost because of it. You weren’t loving that while you cried on the sidelines. Biggest faux paux of BB’s career.

  29. Its funny how one play has defined this guys career. It is like talking weather’s relationship to climate change. The one play defined a game, and a season. His body of work game in and game out defines his career. He in his own mind like all of us over value ourselves. BB in all his greatness is very stubborn, when you diss an over value contract, especially when he feels he took you from nothing (UDFA) or in Wes Welker’s case (cast off from Miami) he tries to show you he is the boss. Not saying that approach is right. I think the Patriots biggest challenge in the near future will be their coach’s inability to relate to the millennial age group who does not respond to criticism, at all because everyone is a winner in that age group.

    As far as Malcom Butler, it was bound to happen, I am glad the issues that caused him to be an UDFA have helped him grow as an adult and he has cashed in finally, however the deal is not team friendly for a guy that struggles against talent. If you look at his shut down year, Logan Ryan, who he is now teamed up with took the 1’s and shut them down.

  30. jjackwagon says:
    March 15, 2018 at 8:13 am
    Except for that time they benched you for the entire SB and probably lost because of it. You weren’t loving that while you cried on the sidelines. Biggest faux paux of BB’s career.

    1 4 Rate This

    ———————

    Umm, no it isn’t. Butler sucked pretty much all year.

  31. NE fans claimed for weeks that benching Bennett cost them the Superbowl. Now, he’s the worst player on the team and Belicheeto is a genius for letting him go. Got it.

  32. NE fans claimed for weeks that benching Butler cost them the Superbowl. Now, he’s the worst player on the team and Belicheeto is a genius for letting him go. Got it.

  33. harrisonhits2 says:
    March 14, 2018 at 10:47 pm
    “INTERCEPTED at the goal line by Malcolm Butler! UN-REAL!!”

    What could possibly ever top that as the greatest play in New England Patriots history?”

    I don’t know, Ty Law’s pick 6 of Warner in the 2001 SB is right up there with Butler’s pick

    ==========
    Adam Vinatieri’s game winning kicks in a blizzard to beat the Raiders and his next big one to beat the Rams tops every single Patriots play ever. Brady never deserved that Super Bowl MVP it was Vinatieri by a mile.

  34. jjackwagon says:
    March 15, 2018 at 8:13 am
    Except for that time they benched you for the entire SB and probably lost because of it.
    ===============
    Butler wouldn’t have made one bit of difference had he played the whole game. The guy simply ain’t all that. Truth hurts.

    Too many people are talking like Coach Belichick benched Deion Sanders in his prime.

  35. teflondyme says:
    March 15, 2018 at 8:54 am
    I never got the vibe Butler was that good. Just a beneficiary to Belichick’s scheme. We’ll see soon enough.
    ==========
    He isn’t.

    Elite guys like Brown take Butler to school every time.

    Patriots did well to move on. Wont be hard to find someone better.

  36. steelcurtainn says:
    March 14, 2018 at 10:36 pm
    At least he’s out of cheatersvill. That’s a positive.

    ————–

    There is no greater example of cheating and poor sportsmanship than a head coach attempting to trip an opposing player during the game.

  37. Unbelievable the hate from some of these crazy Pats fans on here. Rather than just admit BB made a single mistake they have to resort to these bizarre conspiracy theories about Butler. What a sad bunch of losers.

  38. “Other players came forward and said they weren’t surprised that he was benched for the SB.”
    _______________

    Just stop. Jon Robinson and Mike Vrabel would obviously know all the behind-the-scenes details yet still gave big money to Butler. Why would they want a guy on their team that got himself benched for cause in the Super Bowl by their mentor? (Hint: They wouldn’t.) Their signing Butler proved conclusively that benching was just a mistake on BB’s part.

  39. patriots123456 says:
    March 15, 2018 at 7:58 am

    Speaking of classy, Bill would never discuss things like this with the press. Bill keeps these things in the locker room. Other players came forward and said they weren’t surprised that he was benched for the SB.

    ———————
    I agree and I have been SMH at all the criticism of Belichick for not speaking to it. A lot of sportswriters seeming to feel he owed them a statement they could report on and commenters saying “If he had any class he would speak to it” type things. The fact is the exact opposite is true, it would be totally without class for him to publically air an internal personnel matter or decision. In fact, in my own world I would not just be ‘showing no class’ I would be in violation of rules and subject to termination if I spoke outwardly about such matters. So Belichick not only does not owe anyone an explanation, it would be remiss of him to give it.

  40. It was a classy farewell by Butler, but it also tells me there is no conspiracy here. Butler knew, as Belichick did, that he didn’t give the Pats the best chance to win that game. Between illness and attitude he wasn’t gonna help on that game. He didn’t get his trade or money before the reg season, and worried about getting on ESPN. Like JCollins. Bademosi was good when Rowe was hurt during the regular season, but didn’t get it done in the SB.I still thought the Pats were gonna win before the strip sack. But, they didn’t.

  41. I see a lot of comments as to whether Butler was good or not but thats not really the question that decisions turned on. Of course he was good, very good in fact. A hard playing scrappy player. The question though has not been whether he is good but whether he is elite. He wanted to get paid at that elite level and thats where the sticking point was. Belichick would have happily kept him at a decent fair price. But was not going to pay him like an elite shutdown corner. I honestly think thats calling it correctly too. He will be an asset to the backfield of any team. But not an elite shutdown. If another team feels differently and wants to give him that then I am happy to see him get it even as I am happy to not see the Pats pay it.

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