4 Patriots Fighting For Their Jobs After Free Agency

These four Patriots have difficult roads ahead to starting roles.

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
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Bailey Zappe, QB

The New England Patriots brought back Jacoby Brissett in free agency. He will likely be the backup quarterback to start the season behind whoever the Patriots draft with the third-overall pick.

This automatically pushes Bailey Zappe to third-string quarterback status. For someone who finished the season as the starting quarterback, that is a huge demotion.

Considering that New England added another quarterback in Nathan Rourke near the end of the 2023 campaign, Zappe could even be a cut candidate before next season.

It's not like the 24-year-old was bad in his starts. Over the last two seasons, he is 4-4 in eight starts, and he only makes $985,000 for 2024 until he becomes a restricted free agent. There is probably some value to keeping him around as a break-in-case-of-emergency option at QB3.

Zappe is already putting in work with the Patriots receivers in the offseason. And if he wants to hold onto his roster spot, he will need to do a lot more of it.

Regardless of what the Patriots end up doing with these four players, they will have a mountain to climb if they want to be competitive next season. On FanDuel Sportsbook, they are +1700 underdogs to win the AFC East, significantly behind all division rivals.

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