Two years ago, Malcolm Butler became a household name by saving the game for the New England Patriots on one of the most remarkable plays in Super Bowl history. He has since emerged as one of the better defensive backs in football, but things did not go all that well for him in 2017.
And he knows it.
In a chat with Albert Breer of The MMQB earlier this week, Butler admitted that his work on the field this season has not been his best.
“Anything that happened to me is my fault,” he said. “It has nothing to do with anything else, it’s possible to just have a s—-y season. It is what it is. I’m just worried about the Eagles.”
Some have wondered if motivation became an issue for Butler after the Patriots signed Stephon Gilmore to a $65 million contract and decided not to trade the Super Bowl XLIX hero. Butler played horribly early on, and he was benched for a short time in Week 2. He played better down the stretch, but he wasn’t anywhere near as dominant as he was in 2016.
“I have high standards, I didn’t meet my goals. I just feel that way,” Butler added. “There were ups and downs, a lack of consistency. But this isn’t about me; this is about the team. That’s how it is. It’s a production business. I just want to win this game. That’s what’s most important.”
Butler is set to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason. His down season in 2017 may have cost him a few bucks, but he has a chance to send his market value through the roof again if he shines on the biggest stage. As far as his contract situation goes, Butler has said all the right things in recent days.