Patriots

Patriots

One of life's greatest mysteries remains just that.

We're talking, of course, about why the New England Patriots effectively benched Malcolm Butler in Super Bowl LII, giving their starting cornerback just one snap on special teams in a 41-33 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has yet to offer a satisfying explanation for Butler's benching. And according to ex-Patriots running back Shane Vereen, even Butler's teammates can't agree on why he didn't see the field after playing 98 percent of the team's snaps during the regular season.

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"No, I have actually asked quite a few guys who were on the team at the time and I have not gotten the same answer twice," Vereen said Wednesday on WEEI's "Ordway, Merloni & Fauria" radio show. "The grassy knoll still exists.”

Vereen left the Patriots in 2014 but still is close with several New England players, who apparently have given him different reasons for Butler's benching.

While the 31-year-old running back -- who's now a college football analyst for FOX Sports -- wouldn't divulge those reasons, he did shut down a conspiracy theory that Butler was out partying during Super Bowl week.

Considering Patriots players can't even agree on when they found out Butler wouldn't play -- Devin McCourty said the team knew going into the game that Butler wasn't a part of the game plan, while others have said his benching caught them by surprise -- it's unlikely this mystery will be revealed anytime soon.