Brandon Browner Rips Patriots for Benching Malcolm Butler in Super Bowl 52

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However, it's hard to take that comment at face value given that Rowe was apparently not informed he'd play over Butler until mere moments before the game. If Belichick is telling the truth when he says he benched Butler for football reasons, what were those reasons? He's one of many holes the team would need to fill from a defense that gave up 538 yards in the Super Bowl.

"They gave up on me. F-. I don't know. That's how the game goes sometimes". I guess I wasn't playing good or they didn't feel comfortable.

On NFL Network's postgame show, analysts and former players LaDainian Tomlinson and Deion Sanders agreed that benching Butler cost the Patriots dearly.

Butler saw some playing time on special teams, but that was the extent of his playing time as Stephon Gilmore, Eric Rowe and Johnson Bademosi saw almost all the playing time at corner for the Patriots. The decision to bench Butler will be on that is questioned given the end result of the game.

"No, that wasn't the plan", Rowe said. "It wasn't official until kickoff".

"We were just trying to run packages that we had on defense and those guys that were out there were out there for all the situations we needed them for", Patricia said after the game on Sunday night.

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Asked if Butler was held out because of disciplinary reasons, Belichick responded, "no". If he broke a team rule in New England, other teams are going to want to hear him sound say it won't happen again, and sound honest when he's saying it. The man who rescued the Patriots' fourth Super Bowl title from the certain claws of defeat in Super Bowl XLIX seems destined to continue his career with another team next year.

Butler is an unrestricted free agent this offseason. Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported that Butler's benching was the result of a ideal storm of issues, including a midweek illness, a tough week of practice and a minor rule violation believed to be a missed curfew.

"I have high standards, I didn't meet my goals", Butler said.

It's not just the pundits who feel that way either. "There were ups and downs, a lack of consistency". Are we really supposed to believe that Butler couldn't have come up with a stop on even one of those crucial plays?

A writer from Pro Football Focus says he's been told there was something else going on with Butler.

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