McCourty: Pats knew Butler wouldn't start SB

Elias Hubbard
February 21, 2018

The biggest surprise to come out of Super Bowl LII was the surprising benching of Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler, who went from playing in 98 percent of the team's snaps last season to getting just a single snap during the Super Bowl loss to the Eagles.

"We all knew he wasn't starting all week", McCourty told NJ.com. Describing the Malcolm Butler benching as "an exercise in cruelty", the outspoken "First Take" co-host questioned whether free agents would actually go play for Belichick after witnessing his treatment of Butler during the Super Bowl.

"I get why people are fishing". Because when you win back-to-back championships, from a guy that's failed trying to do it and also from a guy that's succeeded trying to do it, you need more than planned celebrations, dog masks and trick plays.

"I just hate that for him character-wise going into free agency", he told Dunleavy.

"This is the first time you've won one, and this is a sign when people just don't know how to regularly win football games", Bruschi said on ESPN's First Take on Monday.

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.

McCourty felt bad for his soon-to-be-former teammate, noting the timing of such rumors are not ideal for the purposes of maximizing value in free agency.

According to safety Devin McCourty, the Patriots were well aware Butler was going to sit out at least part of the game against the Eagles.

"It sucked for him. What incentive do I have to want to play for you?" I was just doing my job and supporting my teammates.

The ESPN analyst said in a segment of the show that he did not believe McCourty's claim that the other New England Patriots players knew. It was something that shocked many viewers, as Butler appeared on the field for only one play on special teams covering a punt. "It's cool for me to see".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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