Super Bowl hero Malcolm Butler was noticeably absent during New England’s OTAs in late May and hasn’t returned to the field since helping the Patriots claim their fourth Lombardi Trophy last February.
A Boston Herald report states there is a reason for Butler’s absence from the field. The Herald’s Jeff Howe reports that the team banned Butler from OTAs for nearly three weeks after the second-year corner missed a flight back into Boston because of weather issues. The cornerback cut his arrival back to the New England area too close and therefore, missed the first day of OTAs.
Butler is expected to return to the field by mid-June for New England’s mini-camp. However, the disciplinary move puts him behind as the Patriots have plenty of competition in their defensive backfield heading into training camp after the departures of Darrelle Revis, Brandon Browner, and Kyle Arrington.
Under the circumstances (i.e. bad weather), it’s slightly surprising that the Patriots drew such a hard line on this one. Nonetheless, of all people, Butler could not afford to be late.
When Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was asked about Deflategate and last season during OTAs, the four-time Super Bowl-winning head coach said last season was a long time ago.
Malcolm, to quote the immortal James Brown, “Papa Don’t Take No Mess.”