As it was expected, the New England Patriots won their fifth Super Bowl, tying them for second on the all time list. (Tied with Cowboys and 49ers, Top All time Steelers: 6) It is a custom for champions of all sports to visit the White House and be congratulated and meet our Commander in Chief. However, unlike 2 years ago, at least 6 players from the Super Bowl winning president will not visit the White House on April 19. Martellus Bennett, Chris Long, Dont’a Hightower, Devin McCourty, Alan Branch, and Legarrette Blount have all publicly stated that they will not attend this honorary ceremony. This will be the 5th time that Tom Brady and the Patriots organization will have met with the POTUS in the White House. If everything occurs as planned, the Patriots will have met with 3 presidents since 2002 (Bush, Obama. Trump). However, it remains to be seen how many of the people invited will actually attend the meeting.
On the other hand, there is some good news. According to Robert Kraft, the Patriots do not intend to trade Super Bowl 49 hero Malcolm Butler. During the NFL’s annual league meeting in Phoenix Kraft stated, “We have an offer sheet out to him and I know he has the ability to go out in the market and get someone to sign him. I hope he’s with us and signs his offer sheet and plays for us. I have a great affection for him. He was part of probably the greatest play in the history of our team.” As previously mentioned, Butler is a restricted free agent, who has yet to sign his tender. Any team could offer Butler a deal and the Patriots would have the right to try to match it. If they could not match the offer, New England would receive that team’s first round pick. Saints coach Sean Payton has shown praise for the “sharp” cornerback and would have to give up his No. 11 selection, a high price to pay.
In the end, coach Bill Belichick will be the one pulling the strings on any move — unless Kraft surprisingly changed gears and meddled in the process (something we don’t see happening).
If they lost Butler, the Patriots would still have a need at corner. So perhaps the team can convince their Super Bowl hero to sign on for one more season before cashing in long-term. If not, they still have their juggernaut offense to win their 6th super bowl.