After a four-year stint with the New England Patriots, cornerback Malcolm Butler finally hit the jackpot as he signed a five-year deal worth $61 million with the Tennessee Titans. Butler’s time with the Patriots ended ominously as he was benched by coach Bill Belichick in Super Bowl LII without any clear reason. The benching was partly blamed for the Patriots’ 41-33 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles as they were torched by quarterback Nick Foles for 373 yards and three touchdown passes. After being silent for quite some time, the 27-year-old Butler finally opened about his feelings for the Patriots and Belichick.

In an interview with Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald, Butler said he never saw any reason behind his benching, but he said he got sick and went to the hospital. “They probably thought I was kind of late on the game plan," said Butler.

Butler expresses love for Belichick, Patriots

However, Butler said he never questioned Belichick’s wisdom behind his decision to bench him. In Super Bowl XLIX, Butler said Belichick took out a veteran and inserted him into the lineup. The decision proved to be right as Butler made a key interception that powered them past the Seattle Seahawks. “You could never question his decision," said Butler. Despite his bitter departure from the Patriots, Butler said he will always have a love for New England, Belichick, team owner Robert Kraft, all of his teammates, and the Patriots fans for their support.

After Butler was benched by Belichick, some of his teammates, led by quarterback Tom Brady, expressed support behind him. Brady even commented on Butler’s post, saying “Love you Malcolm! You are an incredible teammate and player and friend. Always!” In that post, Butler denied rumors that he benched as a disciplinary move, adding that did not violate any team rule.

Patriots eyeing Suh

Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh became available in the free-agent market after he was released by the Miami Dolphins. According to sources close to the team, the reason for Suh’s release was not on his performance, but more due to locker-room issues. It was a costly move for the Dolphins financially, as Suh was being released with a June 1 designation.

Meaning, $9.1 million of Suh’s $22.2 million of dead money will be credited against the 2018 cap. The remaining $13.1 million will count against the team's 2019 cap. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the Patriots are in the mix for Suh’s services. “There is no way we could possibly talk about a veteran big name player at the end of his career without talking about the Patriots," said Rapoport, who added that the Seahawks and the New Orleans Saints are possible destinations for Suh.