Malcolm Butler denies 'ridiculous' acts led to benching


The mystery behind why Malcolm Butler didn't play in Super Bowl LII continues to grow.

Butler addressed the issue in a Twitter post Tuesday, disputing reports that his benching during the New England Patriots' 41-33 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles was linked to disciplinary action.

"During Super Bowl week I never attended any concert, missed curfew or participated [in] any of the ridiculous activities being reported," the Patriots cornerback wrote. "They are not only false, but hurtful to me and my family. Although I wish I could have contributed more to help my team win, I have to get ready for the next opportunity."

Here is Butler's full tweet:

Butler posted the same message on his Instagram account and Tom Brady's official account liked it and posted the following response:

The former Pro Bowler, who led all Patriots defensive players in snaps during the regular season (per Pro Football Focus), didn't play a defensive snap for the Patriots on Sunday. Patriots coach Bill Belichick said the decision to not play Butler was a game-plan move.

Butler saw it differently.

"They gave up on me. F---. It is what it is," Butler said, per ESPN's Mike Reiss, after the game. "I don't know what it was. I guess I wasn't playing good or they didn't feel comfortable. I don't know. But I could have changed that game."

Cornerback Eric Rowe told reporters after the game that he didn't know until kickoff that he would start over Butler.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday on NFL Total Access that there were a myriad of issues that led to Butler's benching. Rapoport reported Butler was sick at the beginning of Super Bowl week and struggled during practices. Butler also committed a minor violation of team rules, per Rapoport.

Whatever happened, it appears Butler's future in New England is nearing its end. The man who rescued the Patriots' fourth Super Bowl title from the almost certain claws of defeat in Super Bowl XLIX seems destined to continue his career with another team once he hits free agency in March.

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