BOSTON (CBS) — Malcolm Butler has broken his silence, and wants to squash any rumors about his behavior during Super Bowl week.

In what sounds like a farewell to the New England Patriots, Butler took to Twitter on Tuesday to thank the organization — including head coach Bill Belichick. He also took the chance to dispel rumors about what caused his benching by Belichick in Super Bowl LII on Sunday, saying they are not only false but hurtful to him and his family.

Many speculated that Butler’s benching was a disciplinary move by Belichick, though the coach said numerous times it was a “football decision” and he was just doing what was best for the team. Butler said he spent his evenings in Minnesota with family, and that he did not attend any concerts or miss any curfews leading up to Sunday’s Super Bowl loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Here is Butler’s full statement from Twitter:

I want to thank Mr. Kraft, the Kraft family, and my coaches for giving me an opportunity to play for one of the most successful organizations in sports. I also want to thank my teammates, as we have won a lot of games together, and all I know is winning! I have always respected everyone at the New England Patriots organizations from Custodians, staff and Coach Belichick.

In each of my four years we have achieved Conference Championships or Super Bowl victories since I arrived in New England. All of this would not be possible without thanking some of the best fans in the world who have supported me from day one and, always let me know how much they appreciated me here in New England. During my four year career with Patriots I have always given it everything I have to play at a high level, and would never do anything to my teams’ chances of winning a game, including this year’s Super Bowl where I visited with my family every night. During Super Bowl week I never attended any concert, missed curfew, or participated in any of the ridiculous activities being reported. They are not only false, but hurtful, to me and my family. Although I wish I could have contributed more to help my team win, I have to get ready for the next opportunity. Moving forward I will do what I have always done to work hard, and prepare for next season to be the best I can be on the field.

Finally, I want to apologize to any offended by my language reported immediately after the game during a very emotional time. It was out of character for me and my character, and heart with Gods’ help if what got me to where I am today. I can’t wait for the 2018 season to get here. I will be ready!

The cornerback was reportedly told just before the Sunday’s game that he was not in the defensive game plan, and was seen getting emotional on the sideline during the national anthem. Butler played no defensive snaps in New England’s 41-33 loss to the Eagles on Sunday, only seeing the field for one special teams play.

Butler is an unrestricted free agent this offseason, and from the opening paragraph of his statement, it sounds like he’s already moved on from the Patriots.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady “liked” Butler’s post on Instagram shortly after it was posted and left a comment.

“Love you Malcolm. You are an incredible player and teammate and friend. Always!!!!!!” Brady wrote.


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