New England Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler spoke with the Herald’s Jeff Howe ahead of Super Bowl LII to share what’s on his mind.
It’s not the fact that this could be the last ride for Butler, a two-time Super Bowl champion and one of the most beloved players in team history for his heroics in Super Bowl XLIX. It’s not that he’s looking for a new contract, one that the team gave to cornerback Stephon Gilmore.
“The only thing that matters is doing whatever I can to help the team win this last game of the season,” Butler told Howe. “This is the biggest game of the season. I’ve got to put all (the contract ramifications) in the drawer. That’s not important right now. Over the years, I learned that it isn’t always about you. It’s about the team. Whatever is best for the team, I’ve got to do. (The contract) is not even important right now. I just want to win this championship. Just got to win, man.”
Butler is likely to test free agency after this season, a down year after a Pro Bowl season in 2015 and an All Pro season in 2016, and could land with another franchise that is willing to shell out top dollar (what about the Indianapolis Colts with projected head coach Josh McDaniels?).
Or maybe Butler will follow the same trajectory as Devin McCourty and Dont’a Hightower as players that test the market, see their value, and decide that it’s worth sticking around New England even if they could make a little more for some other team.
Whatever happens in March will not affect how Butler performs on Super Bowl Sunday. He will take the field and cover whatever receiver crosses his path and aim to add to his already incredible legacy.