Butler now becomes an unrestricted free agent but he was not ready to speculate on his future. "In the end, the final decision is what I said it was", Belichick replied on Monday.
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. "Because once the season's over you're already just a few weeks away from the Indianapolis Combine". It is what it is.
"They gave up on me. F-k". I have high standards, I didn't meet my goals. There were ups and downs, a lack of consistency.
Collins, Dennard and Hightower were all teammates with Butler on the Patriots in 2014.
Butler played 97 percent of the Patriots defensive snaps during the regular season but played zero percent in the Super Bowl.
"A locker room divided pregame, most yards ever given up in a Super Bowl game, and your best defender over the past three seasons doesn't get a snap".
For what it's worth, Butler had been listed on the injury report with an illness up until Thursday. The 11th-hour decision - Butler was in tears during the national anthem upon finding out just before kickoff that he would only be playing special teams - had a ripple effect.More news: Adam Lallana Sent Off For Ludicrous 'Choke-Out' Attempt
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Since that time, Butler has pulled his weight on the championship team and has been a vital part of their defense. Belichick said the decision was football-related and not for disciplinary reasons.
Already faced with many questions entering the offseason, add the Butler benching to that this.
"Yes", he responded when asked if the decision was based "strictly about football". "It's impressive to watch because you know how hard it is to get there".
Belichick also was asked in the Monday conference call about tight end Rob Gronkowski, who after the loss would not commit to playing next season. "Different situations came up, and we were just trying to move some things around".
"It was a coach's decision".
Malcolm Butler is a two-time All-Pro and Super Bowl champion. "Great organization. They gave me the opportunity". I don't know what it was. "I didn't know how to feel watching that [expletive] without my homie playing, without Malcolm playing", Browner said in a video he shared.
Butler said he felt as if the Patriots "gave up on me".
The Eagles beat the Patriots 41-33.