When Malcolm Butler signed with the Patriots last month, it came as a surprise to many, given the bizarre way his last stint with the Patriots ended. But Butler says he and Patriots coach Bill Belichick haven’t discussed their history together.
Belichick benched Butler in Super Bowl LII for reasons that have still never been explained, and Butler left New England that offseason. Butler says that when Belichick contacted him last month about a return, that subject did not come up.
“I ain’t got too much to say about that,” Butler said. “I’m trying to live in the present. You can’t think about the past all the time. I’ve moved forward from that. I know it’ll always be there, but I haven’t said anything to anybody about anything.”
Butler, who is returning from a brief retirement, acknowledged he was surprised that Belichick reached out.
“It came as a surprise. My agent told me that Bill wanted to talk to me, so I was happy. I started working out immediately because I knew there was an opportunity I could return,” Butler said.
Butler thinks he and Belichick see eye to eye because both of them want to focus on what’s ahead of them rather than what’s happened in the past.
“I didn’t expect to come back to New England, but I always had respect for the New England Patriots,” Butler said. “One thing I learned, you never burn your bridges, you handle situations as a man and as a grown-up. If I didn’t do that I don’t think I’d have the opportunity to come back here. I’m pretty sure I made a good decision by acting like a grown man.”