On Thursday, it was announced that the New England Patriots found their new offensive coordinator. Former NFL quarterback Alex Van Pelt, who spent the past four seasons as the offensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns under Kevin Stefanski, agreed to a contract in New England.
Van Pelt spent several years in Green Bay as well, working under Mike McCarthy and with Aaron Rodgers as their quarterback. In addition to New England, he interviewed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the same position but decided to join Jerod Mayo's staff.
With a new play-caller comes a new set of expectations. The Patriots are in need of some change on offense as well, so this could be a good move overall for the franchise. But for these six players, they now enter 2024 on the chopping block.
6. Bailey Zappe, Quarterback
A former fourth-round pick out of Western Kentucky, Bailey Zappe has been pressed into action for eight starts in his young career. He was able to lead New England to two wins as a rookie and was impressive with a completion percentage of 70.7 and five touchdowns.
This season, however, he wasn't as solid. He dropped to a completion percentage of just 59.9 and had six touchdown passes against nine picks. What's worse is the team was just 2-4 with him under center.
That's still an improvement over the 2-9 with Mac Jones but the Patriots' new coaching staff is going to expect more. That's why Zappe could be in danger, especially if they're able to land a veteran quarterback capable of running the offense Van Pelt wants to install.