Malcolm Butler was benched in Super Bowl LII against the Philadelphia Eagles, a game which the New England Patriots lost while surrendering 373 passing yards to Nick Foles. No official explanation beyond "coach's decision," was ever given for the hero of Super Bowl XLIX sitting while his team got torched in the passing game. Now thanks to Seth Wickersham's new book, "It's Better to Be Feared," we do.
Malcolm Butler and Matt Patricia had a "heated exchange" at practice over a "lack of effort."
That is... incredibly anti-climatic. In fact, all the nuggets from this tweet are kind of unimpressive. Bill Belichick is an a-hole? Why I never! Players got mad at Belichick for his friendly letter to Donald Trump, but ultimately did nothing about it? OK. Robert Kraft hates leaving Aspen? Knock me over with a feather.
As for the Butler situation, it seems like Ian Rapoport had bits and pieces of the story back in 2018. Butler was apparently sick, which caused him to show up a day late and then had a rough week at practice and then there were disciplinary issues.
So in the end the Malcolm Butler benching was as boring as it sounded at the time. And just as perplexing.