The Malcolm Butler situation in New England is mystifying
/ 49ers

By Chris Biderman

The story surrounding the 49ers’ need for a cornerback took an interesting turn in Sunday night’s Super Bowl.

The Patriots elected to bench Malcolm Butler — the same Malcolm Butler who sealed the Super Bowl win two seasons ago with a brilliant interception of Russell Wilson at the goal line and who led New England defenders with 97 percent of the snaps played this season.

The same Malcolm Butler the Patriots were trying to trade for a first-round pick to New Orleans last offseason and who should be among the most sought-after free agent cornerbacks this spring.

Butler was widely considered one of New England’s best defensive players throughout the year before the Patriots allowed 538 yards and 41 points to backup quarterback Nick Foles and the Eagles.

The 49ers, of course, have a glaring need for a starting cornerback opposite promising rookie Ahkello Witherspoon and upwards of $100 million in cap space to play with. It’s likely they address the position with a veteran in free agency and another pick in the NFL draft. Butler should be an intriguing candidate given his scheme versatility, experience and knowledge of a winning...



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