The Patriots sliced their roster down to 53 players on Tuesday, and as usual, Bill Belichick made a lot of interesting choices. New England’s initial 53-man roster only has one quarterback and two running backs, for instance, but 11 offensive linemen! Somebody, please, make it make sense.
Surely, Belichick will regret cutting some players at the expense of keeping so many guards and tackles, some of whom will inevitably need to get waived. The Patriots sacrificed depth at crucial positions, and it may come back to haunt them down the line, especially if they’re not able to keep up with the more talented teams in their division.
Here are three players New England will probably regret leaving off of its 53-man roster.
3 Players Patriots Already Regret Cutting
1. Bailey Zappe
The most surprising cut on Tuesday involved backup quarterback Bailey Zappe, who became a fan favorite as a rookie in 2022 by winning both of his starts in relief of Mac Jones.
Zappe appeared to have the QB2 job locked up and even had a case to be QB1 after outplaying Jones last year, but now he finds himself off the roster altogether.
The Patriots are apparently hoping Zappe clears waivers so they can bring him back to the practice squad, but that’s a major risk. It’s hard to know what 31 other teams are thinking, and one of them might take a chance on Zappe given his success last year.
Even if Zappe does return, he’ll no longer be playing on his rookie contract. New England still had three years of team control remaining for Zappe, but flushed them down the toilet by waiving him.
Overall, waiving Zappe was a high-risk, low-reward move by Belichick that didn’t need to be made. He’s already a good fit with the fans, team and coaching staff. He has a track record of NFL success and was locked into a cheap contract, but apparently Belichick needed to protect Jones’ feelings and save a roster space for all those offensive linemen.
Belichick is obviously a smart guy, waiving Zappe seems incredibly shortsighted on his part. You don’t just risk losing a valuable asset like that for nothing.