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Pats' Butler refutes speculation about benching

Field Level Media
February 06. 2018 11:31PM

New England Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler arrives prior to the game against the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

New England Patriots defensive back Malcolm Butler took to social media on Tuesday to push back at reports and speculation regarding his benching for Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis.

A report by Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network indicated that Butler was benched for all but one play of the loss to the Philadelphia Eagles due to a “perfect storm” of issues, including illness that caused him to arrive from Boston a day after the rest of the team, a poor week of practice, a missed curfew and frustration.

Butler went onto Twitter and Instagram to say he spent every night of Super Bowl week with his family and that he neither broke curfew nor attended any concerts.

“They are not only false but hurtful, to me and my family,” the cornerback wrote.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick said after the game and again Monday that Butler was benched with the team’s best interest in mind and denied that it was a disciplinary action.

Butler is an unrestricted free agent this offseason. Parts of the post, which began with him thanking owner Robert Kraft, coaches and teammates, sounded like an acknowledgment that he will not return to the team next concluded.

Though he did not shed light on why he was benched, Butler did address remarks he made after the Super Bowl.

“Finally, I want to apologize to any offended by language reported immediately after the game during a very emotional time,” he wrote. “It was out of character for me and my character, and heart with God’s help is what got me to where I am today.”

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady commented on Butler’s Instagram post, writing, “Love you Malcolm. You are an incredible player and teammate and friend. Always!!!!!!”


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