It has been two weeks since Super Bowl LII took place between the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots, and one of the main storylines coming out of the big game is the situation surrounding Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler.
Butler didn't play a single snap in New England's Super Bowl LII loss to Philadelphia, with many now believing he has played his last game for the AFC Champions after being their Super Bowl hero against the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX.
Reports began to emerge after the Super Bowl in Minneapolis that the cornerback had been benched by Patriots head coach Bill Belichick for disciplinary reasons, as he apparently missed curfew during the week.
Belichick, however, has said that Butler was benched due to football reasons and nothing more. Eric Rowe, who started in Butler's place, said he only learned of the news just before kickoff, which is unlike Belichick to make that big of a decision that close to game time.
Butler has denied the reports that say he missed curfew, but other than that, not much more has been reported on the matter, but the fact we know so little after the season has finished suggests that there is more behind this issue that meets the eye.
Devin McCourty has become one of the first members of the Patriots to speak on the subject since Super Bowl LII, as he was recently interviewed on the matter by NJ Advance Media. He says he knew about Butler’s Super Bowl benching during the week before the game.
McCourty said: "As far as I know, all of that is the furthest thing from the truth. We all knew he wasn't starting all week. That wasn't a secret to the guys on the team.
"I get why people are fishing. The guy played 98 percent of the plays. I just hate that for him character-wise going into free agency. It's just not true. As far as I know -- and I was there all week -- not one time did anything come up.
"It sucked for him. He put a lot of time and effort in. However it falls, the last thing you want to do is not play a snap. To me, the worst part was to see all that (anonymous) stuff come out after."
McCourty is a seven-year defensive captain for the Patriots, so he might know more about the benching than others, but it’s still odd that a definite reason for the benching has emerged by the Patriots.
One thing is that is likely guaranteed though is that Butler will not be at the Patriots in 2018.
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