Devin McCourty: Patriots knew Malcolm Butler was benched for SBLII

FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 21: Malcolm Butler #21 of the New England Patriots
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 21: Malcolm Butler #21 of the New England Patriots /

Devin McCourty revealed recently that Malcolm Butler’s surprise benching for Super Bowl 52 was well-known by all the Patriots players ahead of the game.

Will we ever get an answer as to why then-New England Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler was benched against the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl 52?

It’s one of the great mysteries of the universe, right up there next to questions like: is there life in outer space, and does Bigfoot actually exist? To this day, no one but Bill Belichick seemingly knows why Butler didn’t take the field during that all-important game.

The Patriots, of course, lost to the Eagles 41-33. In a game in which the New England defense – Belichick’s specialty – could not contain backup quarterback Nick Foles and the Philly offense, many think a player as talented as Butler could have proved himself very useful. Even in what was a down year statistically for No. 21, he still could have potentially infused a spark in a porous Patriots secondary that was getting thrashed up and down the field in Minneapolis.

Belichick has remained steadfastly silent regarding his reasons for benching Butler. He has only told the media that he put the players out on the field that he thought gave his team the best chance to emerge victorious. When you’ve brought six Lombardi Trophies back to Foxborough (five at that time), you’ve certainly earned the right to make whatever kinds of decisions you want – no matter how controversial they might be.

Still, the Butler benching remains to this day arguably the most mysterious and head-scratching event of the modern-day Patriots dynasty since Belichick and Tom Brady first arrived at the turn of the millennium.

According to’s Conor Roche, that mystery just got a little bit juicer. Roche reported on Friday that Patriots safety Devin McCourty had some interesting nuggets to disclose on the Butler benching. And while McCourty claims he still is just as much in the dark as everyone else with regards to Belichick’s reasons, he at least knew well ahead of time that Butler wasn’t going to play in the Super Bowl.

In other words, it wasn’t a surprise to him or to any of his teammates.

Here’s the quote:

"“I hated when all of [the Butler news] came out. Because everybody was like, ‘They found out a day before or in the locker room.’ Nah, everyone knew that (Butler wasn’t going to play) going into the game. That wasn’t the way we practiced. For anybody that’s in the New England area, do they really think we took the field and didn’t prepare? That was already the plan.”"

Wes Welker never was a fan of Bill Belichick's media policies. dark. Next

What do you think the real reason was behind Butler’s benching? Let us know your theory in the comments section below!