Tue. Feb 7th, 2023

Malcolm Butler last suited up for the Patriots in Super Bowl LII, and despite being a major contributor during the 2017 season, he did not take any defensive snaps in the NFL championship. 

New England went on to lose the game against the Philadelphia Eagles, and rumors of why Butler did not play spread, with no definitive answer as to why. Head coach Bill Belichick said it was a “coach’s decision,” and not long after Butler signed with the Tennessee Titans.

Fast forward more than four years later, and Butler is back in New England getting ready for his second stint with Belichick’s team after retiring before the 2021 season and sitting out that year.

Butler feels like he needs to step up and show he is a valuable member of the team. 

“I feel like I have a lot to prove, especially to myself. If I do it myself, I’ll prove it to my teammates at the same time. So that’s why I’m working hard every day and trying to stay focused,” he said from Patriots OTAs, via MassLive.

Butler started his career with the Patriots, and now he comes back to Foxboro feeling “rejuvenated.”

“Feeling good. Feeling fresh. Well, I was until I got here and started running around. Rejuvenated,” he said. “Took some time off to handle some things and I’m back here now. … I’m back in football shape, but I’ve got more work to do.”


Butler retired for personal reasons, but after one year watching from home, he was ready to get back on the field. And whatever the reason was for Belichick and the rest of the coaching staff deciding to bench Butler in 2018, it is all clearly water under the bridge.

“Malcolm works hard, like he always has,” Belichick said. “Very competitive, out there scrapping for balls. His aggressiveness, play style — we’re not in pads, but yeah, looks like it’s about the same.”

Butler’s time with the Patriots may have ended with a surprising benching, but he is also known as the Super Bowl XLIX hero, intercepting Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson on the goal line with seconds left in the game. The 32-year-old will look to repeat some of that magic in his return to New England.

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