New England Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler will forever have a place in NFL history, as he's the one who intercepted a Russell Wilson pass at the goal line to preserve a Patriots' Super Bowl victory a few years ago.
However, Butler's 2017 season isn't off to a very good start. After being mentioned in trade rumors all offseason, Butler has struggled so far this year.
Now, he's lost his starting spot and is trying to find his way back into more playing time as the Patriots prepare for their Week 3 game against the Houston Texans.
Instead of moping about his loss of playing time, though, Butler told Patriots.com during a media session that he is going to make the most of whatever playing time he does get:
“I haven’t been performing at the level that I should be performing at,” Butler told reporters. “I gotta do whatever I gotta do to help the team. Whatever role that I get, I got a job to do so I’m going to have to do it. Just gotta keep grinding, keep working hard to help the team.
“It’s still early. Two games (and) preseason games, but there’s no excuses. There’s no excuses. I’ll be ready to roll. Lights out.”
Butler still has talent, but had spent most of the offseason angling for a new contract, which certainly didn't do him any favors with coach Bill Belichick.
Still, Butler has faced adversity before, and said he thinks he'll be just fine as the season progresses:
“There’ve been times where I’ve been through a lot of stuff, and I made it through that and I made it to the National Football League, so if I can make it through that and make it to the NFL, I can put my mind together to make it past this situation,” Butler said.
He may face some more adversity before the year is over, though, as his name is still being brought up in trade rumors.
Butler said he's trying to ignore the rumors swirling around him, but added that he'd like to remain a Patriot for as long as possible:
“As much as I can I try not to,” he said. “This is where I play. This is where I’m happy at. I just gotta continue doing my thing.”
A big performance against the struggling Houston Texans on Sunday afternoon would go a long way toward proving to Belichick that he belongs on the roster. More struggles, though, and the team may decide to part ways with the former Super Bowl hero.