Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports

Devin McCourty discusses Malcolm Butler not playing in Super Bowl LII: We knew all week he wasn't starting

Ryan Hannable
February 19, 2018 - 8:14 am

Two weeks after Super Bowl LII, a member of the Patriots is offering a little more on what happened with Malcolm Butler.

The cornerback didn't play a single defensive snap in the game, but did play one special teams snap in the Patriots' 41-33 loss to the Eagles.

Speaking to, Devin McCourty said he does not believe discipline was the reason, and the team knew all week Butler would not be starting.

"As far as I know, all of that is the furthest thing from the truth," McCourty said. "We all knew he wasn't starting all week. That wasn't a secret to the guys on the team.

"I get why people are fishing. The guy played 98 percent of the plays. I just hate that for him character-wise going into free agency. It's just not true. As far as I know -- and I was there all week -- not one time did anything come up."

Added McCourty: "It sucked for him. He put a lot of time and effort in. However it falls, the last thing you want to do is not play a snap. To me, the worst part was to see all that [anonymous] stuff come out after."

The safety was speaking at a Rutgers-based fundraiser for Tackle Sickle Cell, which is a foundation he founded with his twin brother Jason to help children with sickle cell disease.

As for Butler's future, the 27-year-old free agent will likely be one of the most sought after cornerbacks this offseason -- not bad for an undrafted rookie.

"It's been great to watch him develop," McCourty said. "To watch him, maybe, be late one day his rookie year, and say, 'Hey Malc, you can't do that.' And then becoming a guy you can count on who is very dependable. "If he decides it's hard to come back after that, anywhere he goes, the guy is a great football player and probably one of the most competitive people I've been around. With all my guys, we're teammates and friends for life."

While McCourty said the team knew Butler wouldn't be starting, it still doesn't explain why Johnson Bademosi played over him, and he never entered the game in the second half following the defense getting lit up on third down in the first half.

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