Tom Brady had this message for Malcolm Butler after Super Bowl heroics

Tom Brady had this message for Malcolm Butler after Super Bowl heroics

No one was more happy after Malcolm Butler's game-winning interception at the end of Super Bowl XLIX than New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

The NBC cameras captured Brady jumping up and down with a smile on his face and falling into the arms of his offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. 

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The Super Bowl victory was a long time coming for Brady. He and the Patriots hadn't won a Lombardi Trophy since the 2004 season, and in that 10-year span they lost twice to the New York Giants in heartbreaking fashion. It appeared New England was set for another excruciating Super Bowl defeat until Butler saved the day with his interception of Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson at the goal line.

NBC Sports Network showed a replay of Super Bowl XLIX earlier this week, and Butler joined the broadcast. He provided some great insight into what happened that night, including a message Brady had for him following the dramatic win.

“On the film, after the Super Bowl, he's telling me, ‘Malcolm, are you kidding me?'” Butler said on the NBCSN re-broadcast Tuesday night. “But I think, later on, after the game, he told me, ‘You finally caught one that counts.’ Because I used to pick him off in training camp, somewhat, and that was my first interception. He hit it on the head with that one. I finally caught one that counted. It really counted.”

In one of the NFL Films documentaries on the 2014 Patriots, Butler is seen during Super Bowl week practice going through the exact play he intercepted Wilson on. He saw the play in practice, so he was prepared when it came up in a game situation.

Butler, to this day, is still surprised the Seahawks didn't just give the ball to star running back Marshawn Lynch at the goal line.

"Well, yeah, I can't believe they didn't hand it off to him," Butler admitted. "They should've handed it to him. But we called goal line three corners (defense), so I guess they were trying to go the opposite way. It just backfired. It was a good play, I just wanted it more."

Brady wound up winning Super Bowl XLIX MVP, and he would claim one more Lombardi Trophy with Butler in Super Bowl LI before the talented cornerback left the Patriots as a free agent in 2017. No matter what Butler does for the rest of his career, that interception to win Super Bowl XLIX will be his signature play.

Patriots WR Jakobi Meyers reveals his goal entering 2020 NFL season

Patriots WR Jakobi Meyers reveals his goal entering 2020 NFL season

The New England Patriots need a young wide receiver to step and play at a higher level in 2020, and one of the best candidates is Jakobi Meyers.

Meyers went undrafted in 2019 out of North Carolina State and performed well enough in training camp and the preseason to earn a spot on the Patriots' 53-man roster. 

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What is Meyers hoping to accomplish in his second pro season?

"Mentally, I want to be levels ahead of where I was last year," Meyers told Patriots.com writer Paul Perillo. "Understanding not only what we're doing but also why we're doing it. Earning trust to make the right play. I want to build on last year. It was a nice stepping stone, but I want to keep building and growing."

Meyers knows his job is not guaranteed, and he's very motivated to prove to the Patriots that he again deserves a roster spot.

"I feel like I will be a lot further ahead," Meyers said. "I didn't know if I'd even make the team or what role I might have or where I'd be playing. I still have chip on my shoulder, like will I even be here? I'm staying ready for my name to be called. I need to make sure I give them a reason to keep me around."

For Meyers to take the next step, he must be more consistent.

The 23-year-old wideout had consecutive games with multiple receptions only twice as a rookie, and he tallied only one catch in five of the 11 games he played. Overall, Meyers totaled 26 receptions for 359 yards and zero touchdowns in 2019.

One reason to be confident in Meyers' ability to make a stronger impact in the Patriots offense next season is Jarrett Stidham. The 2019 fourth-round draft pick likely will be the team's starting quarterback following Tom Brady's departure in free agency, and he and Meyers had a good chemistry during the preseason. Of course, it's important not to take too much away from preseason action, but these two players built a strong rapport last August

Injuries to veteran wide receivers Julian Edelman and Mohamed Sanu played a large part in the Patriots' offensive struggles over the second half of the 2019 season. If Edelman and Sanu come back healthy, and a young wideout such as Meyers or N'Keal Harry make a sophomore leap, New England's offense has a chance to be surprisingly good in 2020.

Could Patriots ranking among dead money leaders cost team in 2020?

Could Patriots ranking among dead money leaders cost team in 2020?

The New England Patriots have won six Super Bowls over the last 20 years in part by spending wisely.

Is that all about to change?

The Patriots currently have the least amount of cap space of any NFL team at $1.85 million, per Spotrac. Part of the reason for that is the amount of money they're paying to players who won't play for them in 2020 -- otherwise known as "dead money."

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In fact, New England currently owes $24 million in "dead money," which according to Spotrac puts the team in dubious company.

Let's just say the Panthers, Jaguars, Rams and Dolphins aren't expected to be Super Bowl contenders in 2020.

And if the last four seasons are any indication, the Patriots would be bucking a trend just by going 9-7 in their first season of the post-Tom Brady era.

Brady is the primary reason why New England is in this position: He accounts for $13.5 million of that $24 million number, while Antonio Brown is next-closest with $4.5 million in dead money owed.

But such was the contract that Brady signed last August that gave him a potential out in 2020 -- one he took to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers rather than take another pay cut to stay in New England.

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The Patriots, who have signed all of their 2020 draft picks, still can create extra cap space by trading or extending offensive guard Joe Thuney, who currently has a $14.7 million cap hit that's second-highest on the team.

New England also could restructure the deals of several other players -- like it did recently with Patrick Chung -- to free up more space.

That dead money isn't going away, though, so Bill Belichick and presumptive starting quarterback Jarrett Stidham have another historic precedent to overcome this season.