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Akeem Ayers discusses leaving field for Malcolm Butler

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By now we know that Malcolm Butler was a desperate, late-game substitution, a move that occurred just moments before he made one of the biggest plays in Super Bowl history.

But whatever happened to that other guy, the one who had to come off the field for Butler?

"I literally just ran off the field," Akeem Ayers said during his visit to NFL AM on Monday. "So I get to the sideline, really right there by the coaches. I see the play -- it was hard to tell what happened from my view -- and all of a sudden I see everyone jumping around, and next thing you know, I'm the first person on the field. I run over there, I tackle him ... first person on the field. I mean, I was excited."

Though Butler will undoubtedly get the credit for New England's win, Ayers and fellow linebacker Dont'a Hightower made perhaps the second-biggest play on that drive, wrestling running back Marshawn Lynch to the ground with 26 seconds to play.

Acquired via trade from the Titans earlier this season, Ayers will be looked at as a crucial addition down the stretch, one that helped the Patriots earn their fourth Super Bowl title.

And if they're interested in making another run, they should listen closely when Ayers declares his price before free agency.

"I didn't really know what to expect," he said. "When I got there, things were pretty much 100 miles (per hour), hit the ground running, trying to get into the playbook. I didn't know what position I was going to be playing -- end, linebacker. So it was really a lot going on, so I really didn't have time to really just sit down and be like, 'OK, I'm here now.'"

The latest Around The NFL Podcast welcomes Malcolm Butler to the show and plays a free agency edition of "Who Do You Trust?" Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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