Matt Patricia Offers Little on Malcolm Butler Benching

Tuesday, 06 Feb, 2018

"I'm just anxious about the Eagles", he told NFL.com's Ian Rapoport before Sunday's big game. "I just feel that way".

Something must have happened during the week in Minneapolis for Belichick to have to resort to sitting arguably his best defensive player, and there has only been one real leak so far. "Great organization. They gave me the opportunity".

The three players that the Patriots chose to use instead of Butler, Rowe, Johnson Bademosi and Jordan Richards, all graded out significantly worse than Butler.

"I would say that five minutes after the game or the day after the game is not really the best time to make those decisions", he said.

So where could Butler land next season? Butler had been dealing with a sickness earlier in the week but appeared healthy as the week progressed.

"Could he have helped us out?" Rowe, meanwhile, was on the field for just 261 snaps. We just tried to play all the packages that we could to put everybody out there. "That's how the game goes sometimes".

"We understood that this (Patriots) team does not quit", said Ajayi.

When asked if he at any point considered putting Butler in, Belichick said curtly, "I just covered that".

On Monday, Belichick offered a hopelessly vague response to a question about Butler: "There are a lot of things that go into that. I'm pretty sure that he was a little upset that he didn't play".

He said it was purely a football decision, but we're not so sure.

Eric Rowe started for Butler alongside Stephen Gilmore. "It is what it is", Butler told ESPN.com's Mike Reiss.

And the Eagles were ecstatic to see Butler riding the pine. Pro Football Focus grades Butler as average this past season while ranking him 51st among all cornerbacks. They have 23 [Patrick Chung] in there.

The reason for Butler's benching has drawn wide speculation, but there has been no concrete answer for coach Bill Belichick's decision apart from he has always marched to the beat of his own drum.

"Man, Bill wasn't right at all tonight".

And that comment and media appearance is likely the last for Butler in New England after Belichick hardballed the corner in the previous offseason and seemingly didn't value a player that could have provided real value in the Super Bowl.

'God bless u my friend, keep fighting, I saw you tear up pre game, first sign. That was a [expletive] call. That was a power trip.... Predictably, after only playing limited snaps on special teams, Butler was quick to leave the locker room.