Tuesday’s roster-cut deadline was not short in surprises. A couple of them came from the New England Patriots who have decided to make some stunning moves at the quarterback position. According to reports, Mac Jones is now the only QB remaining on the roster after the Pats opted to part ways with both of his backups.
REPORT: Patriots Cut Bailey Zappe and Malik Cunningham
League insider Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reports that in an unexpected turn of events, the Patriots have decided to cut ties with Bailey Zappe, who was believed to be New England’s QB2 behind Jones:
The #Patriots have waived backup QB Bailey Zappe, source said. A surprise.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 29, 2023
The Patriots weren’t done. Apparently, they also weren’t happy with what they saw from undrafted rookie QB Malik Cunningham, and he too has been shown the door:
The Patriots have also waived Malik Cunningham, per source. @theathletic
— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) August 29, 2023
Zappe, who was New England’s fourth-round pick in last year’s draft, made a bit of noise last season when Jones was out injured. However, the 24-year-old struggled mightily in preseason, which included a forgettable performance against the Tennessee Titans on Friday. Zappe fumbled the ball thrice and was sacked no less than four times in the 23-7 loss. The former Western Kentucky standout went 8-of-15 for 58 yards in what turned out to be his final game for the Pats.
Cunningham’s departure, on the other hand, isn’t as shocking as Zappe’s sudden exit. The 24-year-old wasn’t able to make his mark on the team in the preseason, and it became apparent that he was one of the multitude of players that was getting cut on Tuesday. However, the fact that the Patriots have opted to release both backup quarterbacks still came as a surprise.
New England is now expected to be active in the market in the coming days/weeks as they search for Mac Jones’ backup for the new season.
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