Patriots Preparing Shocking Quarterback Move Ahead of Week 7

The New England Patriots are considering a quarterback change amidst a rocky 2023 season. Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe are underperforming, potentially paving the way for Malik Cunningham to step into a more prominent role.
The New England Patriots are reportedly preparing to make a shocking move at quarterback in the coming weeks.
The New England Patriots are reportedly preparing to make a shocking move at quarterback in the coming weeks. / Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots' quarterback play simply hasn't been good enough to make this team competitive more often than not in 2023. Mac Jones' obvious struggles, combined with Bailey Zappe underwhelming when he's been called upon, leaves this 1-5 team searching for an answer at the game's most important position.

While head coach Bill Belichick has remained loyal to Jones as starter, it appears the tides are turning.

On Wednesday, ESPN's Dan Graziano co-wrote an insider column that discussed the Patriots' QB room. According to Graziano, recently promoted practice squad quarterback Malik Cunningham is being prepared for a "somewhat significant" role in the game plan, which could take place as soon as Week 7.

"“I am told the coaches are discussing ways to work Cunningham into the game plan in a somewhat significant way, possibly as early as this week against Buffalo.""

Dan Graziano

While Cunningham is listed as a wide receiver/QB hybrid, it's obvious this potential move is hinting at a shakeup under center. New England's offense has been mostly lifeless under Jones, who's made opponents' jobs even easier through poor decision-making and turnovers.

The Pats have already started to put the wheels in motion for a Cunningham takeover. Not only was he promoted from the practice squad in Week 6, but the team gave him a three-year contract to join the the 53-man roster, which is an aggressive move. Even more, the Louisville product earned the QB2 role against the Las Vegas Raiders while Bailey Zappe was made inactive as the emergency third quarterback.

With his first snaps played in Week 6, too, it's clear the Patriots are interested in getting Cunningham on the field and seeing what happens. It sounds like he could have an even bigger opportunity to beat out Jones for the starting role in the coming days.

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