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Original Issue



Malcolm in the Middle

WOULD THE PATRIOTS have won Super Bowl LII had Malcolm Butler started that game? "Probably. Maybe. I'm not sure...." says the Pro Bowl cornerback. "I seen a couple plays out there I could have made." We all know what happened instead: Butler stood on the sideline, appearing for just one special teams play, eyes welling with tears, as the Eagles ultimately edged his Pats, largely by carving up an outmanned secondary.

Butler addresses that disappointing evening on SI TV in an episode of Under the Cover, which you can access through Amazon Prime starting this week. He also takes our video crew along as he plots his next move. "I wanted to go out like Kobe Bryant," says Butler, as it becomes clear he won't be a Patriot again in 2018. "I may not be Kobe Bryant, but I wanted to finish my career with one team.... But no one wants to be somewhere they're not wanted."

Good thing for Butler, and for viewing audiences: At least 10 teams lined up for the free agent's signature, and we take you behind the scenes as he sifts through the market, weighing long- and short-term deals against the advice of his brother, who prefers ... the Lions? We're there for the decision, the signature, the champagne toast and the moment Butler asks his mother, after signing for the Titans, "Hey, Mom, are you ready to go to Nashville?!"

From the sideline ...

... to the fallout ...

... to the training field ...

... to the contract signing ...

... to the champagne toast.


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