New England Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler skipped the team's voluntary organized team activities (OTAs), which led to many questions about whether or not he was holding out for a new contract.
Butler got ahead of the rumors and said that his absence had nothing to do with his contract. The media had an opportunity to speak with Butler at Tuesday's mandatory minicamp.
“There was a big misunderstanding. I had some off the field issues. That’s that,” Butler said, via the Providence Journal. “Family issues. Something like that.”
While his response wasn't very illuminating, it's the most insight we've had on the subject. Butler spoke with the Herald's Jeff Howe about the speculation.
“Of course that’s going to bother you,” Butler said. “You can only control what you can control. Everyone knows why I wasn’t here. It is what it is.”
As for whether or not Butler is concerned with his contract, he's not giving any clues and is evoking head coach Bill Belichick in his responses.
“It is what it is. I’m going to play hard, no matter what,” Butler said. “It is what it is.”
Butler is set to be a restricted free agent after the 2016 season and multiple outlets have reported the cornerback's desire to have a new deal before the start of the season. Butler did not reveal much when asked about his extension.
“I’m not sure about [any extension discussions]," Butler said. "I can control only what I can control. I’m just out here playing football.”
Hopefully the two sides can come to an agreement sooner rather than later, because Butler's price tag will likely increase with each regular season game.