Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

New England Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler didn’t play a single defensive snap during Super Bowl LII, and despite talk of an illness during the week, it certainly sounds like he was more than ready to go.

After the Patriots’ 41-33 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, an emotional Butler blasted the Patriots, saying that he didn’t know why he’d been benched for the biggest game of the season and bemoaning the fact that he felt he could’ve impacted things on the field.

Stephon Gilmore, another key member of the Patriots’ secondary, also seemed surprised by Butler’s benching.

The Patriots would only say that Butler’s benching was a coach’s decision.

Butler was one of New England’s steadiest and most reliable defenders all season. Something major must have gone down for Bill Belichick and the Patriots to lose faith in him at this point, because after New England’s defensive performance, it’s hard to say he wouldn’t have had a positive impact.

Butler is a free agent after the season. It’s safe to say at this point that he probably won’t be back with New England.

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This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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