Former New England Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola admitted that he was hurt by Bill Belichick’s decision to bench cornerback Malcolm Butler in their Super Bowl LII loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. In an interview with Mike Reiss of ESPN, Amendola said he asked Belichick about the move, but he did not get any reply from the veteran coach. Amendola said Butler is a great player and his defensive presence on the field could have helped them win over the Eagles. Amendola believes that Butler will play for a long and will excel as a defensive player in the NFL.

Butler recently signed a five-year contract with the Tennessee Titans worth $61 million when he turned free-agent. Butler, for his part, said he almost confronted Belichick about his decision, but restrained himself.

Butler’s absence hurt teammates

Butler led the Patriots in defensive snaps in the regular season and played in their first two playoff games. However, everyone was surprised when he played zero defensive snap on defense and just one snap on special teams. Butler’s absence allowed Eagles quarterback Nick Foles to throw for 373 yards and three touchdowns. Amendola told Reiss that Butler’s absence hurt him and his teammates. What made it worse was that they did not get any explanation from Belichick or any of the coaching staff about the decision.

The veteran wide receiver said he was not aware if business aspect was part of the decision to bench Butler. Amendola signed with the Miami Dolphins after five years with the Patriots. During his stay in New England, Amendola made it to three Super Bowls, winning two.

Amendola reveals the reason why he left Patriots

Amendola said he was open to re-signing with the Patriots, but in the end, he was not satisfied with the contract offer from the team.

Amendola signed a two-year deal worth $12 million with the Dolphins. According to Amendola, the Dolphins’ offer surpassed the amount placed on the table by Belichick. “I understand Bill runs a tight ship, and he hasn’t been known to pay his players,” said Amendola, adding that the Patriots did not come close to any of the offers that he received.

“I had to make a decision for my family and go down to Miami and continue my career there,” said Amendola, who accepted pay cuts in three consecutive offseasons to remain in New England. Also, the 32-year-old Amendola admitted that it’s not easy playing for Belichick, but the things the veteran coach taught him made him a better wide receiver and a better person.