HOUSTON -- New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has the MVP trophy from Super Bowl XLIX, but cornerback Malcolm Butler proudly still drives the truck that Brady gave him. Two years later, Brady is still waiting to ride shotgun.
"I keep telling him to give me a ride, but he never does that," Brady joked Monday night.
For Butler, who returns to the Super Bowl as the Patriots' No. 1 cornerback two years after he was fifth on the depth chart in the 2015 game against the Seattle Seahawks, the truck isn't his primary vehicle, but he makes sure to "put a couple of miles on it here and there so the oil and all won't rust up."
"It means a lot. I will always and forever have that truck," Butler said at Super Bowl LI Opening Night festivities. "I’ll never give it away. I’ll never sell it. I’m going to always keep it. That’s a gift. That’s a special gift. That’s a trophy to me. So I’ll always keep that. I’ll always have that."
Revisiting his decision to give the truck to Butler, who had picked off Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson at the goal line in the closing seconds to seal a 28-24 win, Brady lit up with a big smile.
"He earned it, and he deserved it. Without Malcolm, we don't win that game. I love Malcolm. I joke with him all the time, but I just say, 'Thank God for Malcolm Butler.' He saved the game for us," Brady said.
"It was just an incredible play, I think one of the greatest plays in the history of the NFL, for him to be able to recognize that. No one really knew who Malcolm Butler really was at that time. I had, because I had gone against him in practice so much. For him to recognize that and pull the trigger at the biggest moment of his career and make the play, in the Super Bowl against one of the best teams that has ever played in the Super Bowl in the Seahawks, that was incredible. So he deserved it, and I was happy to do it."