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What Do These Tweets From Malcolm Butler Mean?

By Matt Dolloff, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) -- It's unclear what Malcolm Butler is fishing for with his last two tweets, but he's clearly fishing for something.

The Patriots cornerback, who will become a restricted free agent after the 2016 season and is set to be grossly underpaid at $600,000, sent out a couple of tweets late Monday night that Rich Hill from Pats Pulpit described as "cryptic" - which would be putting it rather lightly.

The second tweet could be 100 percent harmless. Pro athletes tweet about how "thankful" and "blessed" they are all the time, often totally unprovoked. In fact it's far from the first time Butler himself has done it. But why is Butler imploring himself to maintain his focus? Surely he must feel like he needs to sharpen up much of the time, but why would he feel the need to tweet about it?

The obvious answer is that his ongoing contract talks with the Patriots are starting to distract him. Hill theorized that perhaps this means he and the Patriots have agreed on a lucrative contract extension and Butler simply doesn't want to get bogged down by all the extra zeroes in his paychecks. Personally, I think it's the opposite, that Butler's contract talks are beginning to bleed into his focus on football. He's only human, after all.

Whatever the tweets mean, anything Butler says on Twitter at this point is bound to gain lots of attention. Needless to say, this very article is just another example of how oblique tweets like these from Butler inevitably get scrutinized beyond recognition. They could mean absolutely nothing, but for the purposes of #hottakes they've got plenty of juice.

What do you think the tweets mean? Because there's a minuscule chance that they are meaningless.

Matt Dolloff is a writer for His opinions do not necessarily reflect that of CBS or 98.5 The Sports Hub. Have a news tip or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff and email him at

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