New England Patriots: Malcolm Butler believes he could have changed game

Super Bowl 49 Hero Malcolm Butler Benched in Patriots SB Loss Roman White

Super Bowl 49 Hero Malcolm Butler Benched in Patriots SB Loss Roman White

During the regular season, Butler led all Patriots defensive players with a 97.83 snap percentage (per Pro-Football Reference), and he played every snap of New England's first two post-season games.

Bill Belichick was not prepared to expand upon his decision to bench Malcolm Butler for the Patriots' Super Bowl LII loss to the Eagles - even after Butler opened up on how he felt like he could have "changed the game."

"Bill wasn't right at all tonight", Browner said.

He was replaced on Sunday by Eric Rowe, and Butler watched on feeling helpless as the Eagles ran up 538 yards.

"He practiced it the most", Belichick said.

They mystery surrounding his benching may never be solved, but Brandon Browner, a former New England Patriots cornerback who won a Super Bowl with the team, the benching had something to do with marijuana. "I didn't know how to feel watching that [expletive] without my homie playing, without Malcolm playing", Browner said in a video he shared. He knows how Patriots players feel about Butler's benching. They seem unlikely to dole out another eight-figure contract to Butler - particularly if he wasn't worthy of playing in the biggest game of the season.

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If you're going to go down, you may as well at least go down with your best players on the field. "I don't know. That's how the game goes sometimes".

It includes the caption, "A locker room was divided pre game, most yds ever given in up in a SB game, and your best defender over the past 3 seasons".

Another is defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, who was hired as the head coach of the Detroit Lions on Monday. I'm sure other players felt the same way.

The bigger Rowe had reportedly been practicing during the week as a starting cornerback opposite Stephon Gilmore, but Rowe said after the game that he still expected Butler to get his share of playing time. "We all want to be out there, we all want to play, so I know Malc, he's super competitive. It is what it is", Butler said, per ESPN's Mike Reiss.

Belichick said on Monday: "I respect Malcolm's competitiveness, and I'm sure that he felt like he could have helped". But it will forever be hard to accept that Butler would not have made more plays than the likes of Richards or Bademosi.

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