We've heard plenty of how the New England Patriots managed to find Division II cornerback Malcolm Butler after he transcended sports and became a regional hero. The Patriots invited the undrafted player to a rookie camp, where he stood out and earned a contract- and then he kept standing out and earned time and trust until he sealed the Patriots fourth Super Bowl crown.
But what about Butler's side of the story? His agent has shared his side of the story. He talks about getting Butler in the door at Alabama's Pro Day, where Butler ultimately flopped.
[Butler's] ‘draft graph' topped out at pro day. Everybody is waiting to see how he does at the pro day. He goes to pro day and calls me and says, ‘I ran a 4.6.' I said, ‘Malcolm, I could run a 4.6 in my church shoes. That's not going to get us anywhere.' So the graph was at its top, and right when he ran a 4.6, it went straight down to nothing. No texts, phone calls, no emails, no returned phone calls. And it was like we had fallen off the face of the earth. It was brutal.
Fortunately, the Patriots inquired about Butler- and they were the only team to show any interest.
(Patriots defensive backs coach) Josh Boyer from the Patriots calls, and said, ‘is Malcolm still available?' We hadn't had any calls in weeks, so I had to play a little poker, and I said, ‘right now he is,' and Boyer said, ‘I think he's faster than a 4.6, and I believe in Malcolm, and I think he can play at this level. All I can offer him is a tryout and he can sign a release and we'll fly him out for the weekend, and if we decide to keep him, then we'll offer him a undrafted free agent contract.' And I called Malcolm and I said, ‘this is all we have.'
It's an extremely interesting look at the stressful life of an undrafted prospect and how much of their life and career resides in the hands of their agent. Go take a read. Butler might not have been a Patriot except for some savvy psychological moves by his agent.