One of the most intriguing story lines during Super Bowl 52 was the absence of Malcolm Butler from the New England Patriots defense. After playing 97.83% of the defensive snaps during the regular season and the first two New England playoff games, he played 0 during the Super Bowl while his team was getting torched by Nick Foles and the Eagles’ offense. The Patriots said after the game that they had some packages that Butler would have played in, but they never came up during the course of play. Hmmmm.....
So I think we can all agree that doesn’t pass the smell test, right? Butler probably isn’t as good as most people think that he is, but he’s dang sure better than Eric Rowe. Per Pro Football Focus, Butler had a 79.2 grade for the season while Rowe had a 50.7. In case you didn’t know, lower is worse.
All of that led to reports that Butler missed curfew, had weed and had a meltdown on the coaching staff. However, Butler has responded to that in a post of his own this afternoon:
Then, to make it even better, Tom Brady liked Butler’s post on Instagram and posted a supportive comment to the cornerback:
Update: Tom Brady has commented on Butler’s Instagram post: “Love you Malcolm! You are and incredible teammate and player and friend. Always!” pic.twitter.com/A5X2XvuMmj— Mark Daniels (@MarkDanielsPJ) February 6, 2018
We will get the full story here one day. I am really interested to know what it is.
With all of that being said, Butler is set to hit the free agent market in a few weeks. I think it is safe to assume that he won’t be back with the Patriots in 2018. Like I said above, Butler is a solid corner. He will probably get overpaid on the open market, but he is a guy that Jon Robinson should check in on when the time comes. A secondary with Butler and Adoree Jackson on the outside and Logan Ryan in the nickel would be pretty, pretty good.