The Philadelphia Eagles defeated the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII, and noticeable in his absence during the loss was star cornerback Malcolm Butler, who did not play a single snap. Butler became a star when he made the game winning interception against the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX, and he played 98% of the Patriots defensive snaps this season, but he did not play one snap in Super Bowl LLI as the Patriots got shredded by Nick Foles in the loss. A writer from Pro Football Focus named Joey Cartolano offers an explanation that he “heard from a family friend” that he trusts that Butler missed curfew during Super Bowl week and was caught with marijuana when he returned late to the hotel, which is why Butler was benched for the game by head coach Bill Belichick. Apparently Butler’s Patriots teammates in the secondary were angered and shocked by the benching, and Butler’s replacement Eric Rowe was killed by Alshon Jeffery in the first half and finished the game with three catches 73-yards and a touchdown, so Patriots fans are left wondering if Butler would have made one of his trademark game changing big plays had he been on the field. File this under “rumors” because this writer’s source is basically “some guy I know”, but after being benched for the Super Bowl I think it’s safe to say Malcolm Butler will be wearing a different uniform next season.
UPDATE: Another report is circulating that right before the game, this one claims Bill Belichick told Malcolm Butler before the game that the Patriots were starting Eric Rowe, but Butler would play at which point Butler flipped and cussed out Belichick. That’s when Belichick told Butler that he would not be playing at all, which is why a very upset Butler was seen bawling during the National Anthem, he knew his reaction cost him the opportunity to play in the Super Bowl and likely ended his Patriots career.