As the New England Patriots pick up the pieces after a stunning Super Bowl loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, the talk will turn to the good and bad decisions made leading up to and playing out throughout the game.
One of those decisions was from Pats head coach Bill Belichick who benched former Super Bowl MVP cornerback Malcolm Butler because Belichick felt not having Butler in the game gave New England a better chance at winning.
Who would second guess the best head coach of All-Time?
Butler was obviously upset with the decision, as he was relegated to special teams.
“They gave up on me,” Butler said (h/t ESPN). “F—. It is what it is.”
Butler, who was replaced by Eric Rowe, feels that is he did play, he would have changed the outcome of the game.
“It was a coach’s decision. … I don’t know what it was,” Butler said after the game.
“I guess I wasn’t playing good. They didn’t feel comfortable. I could have changed that game, though.
“I was just doing my job supporting my teammates. I had nothing but great things to say about the organization. Great organization. They gave me the opportunity.”
Butler played 97.8 percent of the defensive snaps in the regular season but Patriots’ defensive coordinator Matt Patricia said that matchups were the determining factor in benching Butler.
“We just played all the guys we could to try to help us win in whatever packages we had,” said Patricia. “Different situations came up, and we were just trying to move some things around. … We just had a situation where we had some matchups and packages that we went with.”
“We put the players and the game plan out there that we thought would be the best, like we always do” Belichick said after the game of his decision to sit Butler.
Butler is set to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
Now the Patriots, along with a lot of their fans, may be asking themselvec; “What if?”.
Broncos Sign Andy Janovich to Three-Year Extension
According to NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport, Janovich’s new deal will net him a signing bonus of $1.35 million and includes $3.22 million fully guaranteed, making him the league’s third highest paid fullback.
Janovich is certainly a fan favorite in Denver, and was scheduled to hit free agency this offseason prior to inking the new deal.
Raiders Release J.J. Nelson
Nelson inked a one-year deal with the Raiders this offseason, but the two-year veteran was cut so the team can make the necessary room for the addition of wider receiver Zay Jones.
Nelson was added in the hopes he would provide a viable speed threat in Oakland, but has yet to produce this season.
Jets’ Chris Herndon Still Out
Herndon suffered a Grade 1 hamstring strain last week while running routes, and has been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys and will likely miss next week’s tilt against the New England Patriots.
Herndon collected 39 receptions for 502 yards and four touchdowns last season for the Jets.
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