Ex-Patriots player: Locker room divided over Butler benching

Ex-Patriots player: Locker room divided over Butler benching

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick speaks to the media after losing 41-33 to the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII on February 4, 2018 in Minneapolis.

New England Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler expressed his frustration about not starting in the team's 41-33 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII.

When asked if he at any point considered putting Butler in, Belichick said curtly, "I just covered that". I have nothing but great things to say about the organization.

The fact that Butler didn't know he'd be out - and Eric Rowe didn't know he'd be replacing him - until shortly before kickoff suggests that something happened on Sunday or Saturday night.

"We put the best players out there and the game plan out there because we thought it was best to win", he said.

"They gave up on me", he told ESPN's Mike Reiss.

"They gave up on me", Butler said after the game. "I didn't know how to feel watching that [expletive] without my homie playing, without Malcolm playing", Browner said in a video he shared. "I am sure other players felt the same way, but in the end, we have to make the decisions that we feel are best for the football team and that is what we did ... that is what I did".

According to SB Nation, Butler played in 98 percent of his defensive snaps int he regular season.

Ex-Patriots player: Locker room divided over Butler benching
Ex-Patriots player: Locker room divided over Butler benching

"They gave up on me", Butler said Sunday night. "You play every game of the season but the Super Bowl".

They didn't just get to the Super Bowl. Surely it is wiser than those now being spoken by the all the experts who aren't anywhere near the team and have nothing close to Belichick's credentials.

New England coach Bill Belichick called Butler's playing time a coach's decision.

New England Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler sits on the field during the third quarter of the AFC Championship Game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Gillette Stadium last month.

Already faced with many questions entering the offseason, add the Butler benching to that this.

"It's tough. It really is", he told Welch when she asked whether he had decompressed from his Super Bowl win that February.

What impact Butler could have had on the game we will never know. Especially considering the sub-par year Butler had in 2017, the Patriots were likely to not come close to offering the money he was seeking.

Butler, a former Pro Bowler (2015) and second-team All-Pro (2016), will be moving on in free agency next month.

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