The New England Patriots made major news last week by cutting backup quarterbacks Bailey Zappe and Malik Cunningham.
Cunningham had impressed some fans with his potential, while Zappe proved last year that he could possibly be a starting quarterback in the league one day.
The expectation from the outside was that Zappe was virtually a lock to make the roster, and may even push Mac Jones for the starting job, especially considering the frosty relationship that seemingly exists between Jones and Head Coach Bill Belichick.
Needless to say, Zappe was shocked at the news of his release…
“The word that I got from somebody in Zappe’s camp was ‘blindsided,'” reported Evan Lazar of Patriots.com.
ICYMI: here is yesterday's #Patriots Catch-22. We discussed the Pats initial 53-man roster, Bailey Zappe, 11 OLs, surprise players to make the initial roster, and the Pats reportedly claiming QB Matt Corral. https://t.co/P1eDcYYG4Q
— Evan Lazar (@ezlazar) September 1, 2023
However, the story took a twist as Zappe has now been re-signed by the Patriots but placed on the practice squad alongside Cunningham. This surprising move has raised questions about Zappe’s future role with the team especially since New England brought former Carolina Panthers quarterback Matt Corrall on-board.
“Mac Jones [is] still the starter on the 53-man roster but he is no longer the only quarterback,” NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported. “My understanding is that Corral and Zappe will compete for the backup job.”
Corral was drafted in the third-round of the 2022 draft by Carolina following a stellar career under Lane Kiffin at Ole Miss.
Belichick’s emphasis on healthy competition within the team is evident with these roster changes.
With all four quarterbacks being relatively young and considered promising prospects, it’s clear that the Patriots are keeping their options open.
One thing is for sure – Mac Jones will be the starting quarterback, at least to open the season. And with offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien back in charge, the Patriots offense should be lightyears better than last year.
How do you think New England will do this season?
What are your feelings on Jones, Zappe and the entire quarterback situation?