There was a time when cornerback Malcolm Butler never wanted to leave New England. It a scenario he always envisioned – to live out his dream as an NFL player with the first team that gave him a chance. There was a moment where that seemed possible, until it didn’t.

While standing on the sideline during the Super Bowl, Butler quickly realized his time with the Patriots was about to end. As he shockingly watched his teammates lose without him, there was a piece of him that wanted to approach Coach Bill Belichick and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia and tell them how he felt.

Of course, he never did.

We learned about Butler’s thoughts on his benching as well as his journey in free agency Friday. He was featured in episode 11 of SI: Under the Cover. The most telling part was Butler’s honest thoughts on what transpired during the loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

“There was times that I was on the sideline that I just wanted to go up and say to Belichick or Matt Patricia and just say, ‘This is how we’re gonna end this?’ ” Butler said. “I grew up in the Patriots system, and I’m a well-mannered guy. I respect my authority. Just couldn’t ask them for something they didn’t want to do. I just was doing my job. I was close to going up there and saying what I wanted to say to Matt or Belichick, but I just stayed in my lane and just did my job, man. I really wanted to go ask them, but I didn’t.”

We still don’t have a clear reason why Butler didn’t play. He chalks it up to being Belichick’s decision. At this past week’s owners meetings, Belichick didn’t give a reason. During the SI: Under the Cover episode, Butler admits he thinks his play could have changed the outcome of the game.

“I never missed a game. Never missed practice or anything like that. Would we have won if I played? Probably. Maybe. I’m not sure,” Butler said. “But I would say we were short about one or two plays, and I’ve seen a couple plays out there I could’ve made. It was just a coaching decision that didn’t work out good for me, him or the New England Patriots organization.”

The 11-minute episode also shows Butler during the free-agent process. The cornerback had interest from the Chicago Bears, Houston Texans, New Orleans Saints and Detroit Lions before signing a $61 million deal with the Tennessee Titans.

Before signing the deal, Butler admitted that he originally wanted to stay with the Patriots. In the end the feeling wasn’t mutual.

“You know, I wanted to go out like Kobe Bryant. I might not be Kobe Bryant, I’ll never be Kobe Bryant, but I always told myself that I always wanted to finish my career on one team and just go out like that,” Butler said. “But no one wants to be somewhere where they’re not wanted.”

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