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Should Raiders pursue Malcolm Butler after mysterious Super Bowl benching?

Malcolm Butler had the game-winning interception in Super Bowl XLIV

That coach, of course, is Bill Belichick, the famously tight-lipped mastermind behind the Patriots' five Super Bowl championships. "I'm sure other players felt the same way", he added.

3 years after making one of the most unbelievable plays in Super Bowl history, Malcolm Butler didn't play a single snap on defense all game long as Belichick chose to freeze him out.

It was all set up for Brady to produce another dramatic, winning drive - the ball in his hands, 2:21 remaining - but then it all came crashing down.

Asked about what happened after the game, Butler said, "I ain't got nothing to say" before leaving the locker room at U.S. Bank Stadium.

So instead of looking like Bill Belichick, he is looking a lot like an incapable mad genius who has let his own ego get in the way for helping the football team win games.

The lighter was provided by Butler, who was caught rubbing tears from his eyes during the national anthem and rolled his thumb on the little wheel again after the game, when intercepted by ESPN's Mike Reiss and Adam Schefter on the way to the team bus. I guess I wasn't playing good or they didn't feel comfortable. In the end, we have to make the decisions we feel are best for the football team.

Butler played the most snaps for the Patriots on defense during the regular season. No one seems to know for sure, but Butler isn't happy about it.

A 2015 Pro Bowler and second-team All-Pro in 2016, Butler performed below expectations for much of 2017, but it was still a surprise he only appeared on a few special teams plays Sunday. He was replaced in the Super Bowl by cornerback Eric Rowe. He takes care of his body better than most players and says he wants to play until he's 45, but Father Time is undefeated.

"It's tough. It really is", he told Welch when she asked whether he had decompressed from his Super Bowl win that February. Butler was a linchpin in their secondary for three years, and he was able to shut down some of the game's top wide receivers during the playoffs.

Defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, who was hired Monday as the Detroit Lions' next head coach, said Butler was in parts of the team's plan, but those parts weren't utilized in the game.

Oh, and Belichick confirmed that the benching wasn't disciplinary.

But on Sunday Butler was largely reduced to spectator as the Patriots were beaten 41-38 despite quarterback Tom Brady throwing for a Super Bowl record 508 yards and three touchdowns.

Butler was the subject of trade rumours last off-season, and is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent.