A two-time Tremendous Bowl champion cornerback could have simply hit the marketplace for the Jets and Giants.
Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler, who was benched for unknown causes in Tremendous Bowl LII, posted an announcement on Twitter suggesting he is not going to be returning to the Patriots subsequent season.
“I wish to thank Mr. Kraft, the Kraft household, and my coaches for giving me the chance to play for one of the profitable organizations in sports activities,” he stated. “I additionally thank my teammates, as we have now gained a variety of video games collectively and all I do know is successful! I’ve all the time revered everybody on the New England Patriots group from Custodians, employees and Coach Belichick.
“In every of my 4 years we have now achieved a Convention Championships or Tremendous Bowl victories since I arrived in New England. All of this could not be doable with out thanking among the finest followers on the planet.”
Butler, 27, is an unrestricted free agent and was the hero of Tremendous Bowl XLIX for his goal-line interception towards the Seahawks to seal a 28-24 victory.
For the Jets, a lot of it should rely upon whether or not they re-sign Morris Claiborne and the way they really feel about different free-agent corners.
Butler is an effective cornerback, however had some lulls in 2017 presumably attributable to unhappiness over the one-year, $3.9 million contract he was taking part in underneath. Nonetheless, the Jets will want a nook and he will probably be value inquiring about.
As for the Giants, they’ve large cash tied into defensive gamers Damon Harrison, Olivier Vernon, Janoris Jenkins and Jason Pierre-Paul, and can seemingly have to present Landon Collins an enormous contract within the close to future.
That might restrict what they might wish to spend on a nook like Butler. In addition they have extra of a urgent must fill at linebacker.
Nonetheless, there’s some uncertainty surrounding Eli Apple and his future with the Giants, and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie will probably be 32 within the ultimate yr of his contract subsequent season.
If the Giants determine to half methods with both one, out of the blue Butler turns into an attention-grabbing title value checking on.
Groups pursuing Butler might also wish to know why he was benched within the Tremendous Bowl, which nonetheless appears to be a thriller.
There have been some experiences on Monday that it was due to marijuana and a curfew violation, however Butler denied that he did something mistaken throughout Tremendous Bowl week.
“Throughout my 4 yr profession with the Patriots I’ve all the time given it the whole lot I’ve to play at a excessive stage, and would by no means do something to harm my groups’ possibilities of successful a recreation, together with this yr’s Tremendous Bowl the place I visited with my household each night time,” he stated. “Throughout Tremendous Bowl week I by no means attended any live performance, missed curfew, or participated any of the ridiculous actions being reported. They don’t seem to be solely false; however hurtful to me and my household. Though I want I might have contributed extra to assist my staff win, I’ve to prepare for the subsequent alternative. Transferring ahead I’ll do what I’ve all the time accomplished to work laborious, and put together for subsequent season to be one of the best I could be on and off the sphere.”
Butler’s assertion, which was shared on Twitter and Instagram, was appreciated by quarterback Tom Brady, who additionally commented on it exhibiting his assist for his teammate.
“Love you Malcolm,” Brady wrote. “You might be an unbelievable teammate and buddy. At all times!!!!”
A number of former Patriots have additionally criticized Belichick for his choice to bench Butler, because the New England protection allowed 538 yards of complete offense within the 41-33 loss to the Eagles.