Patriots reportedly wanted to re-sign Malcolm Butler after Super Bowl benching
If Malcolm Butler did something in the days leading up to the Super Bowl last year that resulted in Bill Belichick deciding to bench him, it does not sound like it was anything bad enough to make the coach lose all faith in the star cornerback.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, the New England Patriots still had interest in re-signing Butler after Belichick chose to not let him play a single defensive snap against the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII. While they obviously weren’t willing to pay him top dollar, the Patriots invited Butler’s agent to reach out to them if Butler did not get any offers that he was interested in.
The Patriots made it obvious that they did not intend to pay Butler market value when they signed Stephon Gilmore to a five-year, $65 million deal before last season, but it’s interesting that they still felt their relationship with Butler was in a good enough place where they could bring him back.
There have been rumors about why Butler was benched in the Super Bowl even with the Patriots getting torched defensively, but no one seems to know the real story. Butler said over the summer that he never received an explanation, and the way his former teammates reacted has led to more questions than answers.
As it turns out, Butler is having a terrible first season with the Tennessee Titans. He gave up two touchdowns on national TV against the Dallas Cowboys on Monday night, and Pro Football Focus has him graded as one of the worst corners so far in 2018. It will be interesting to see if the Patriots go after him on Sunday.