Patriots Quarterback Debacle Takes Shocking Turn

Malik Cunningham is no long a New England Patriot, instead signing as a backup for a Super Bowl contender.
Aug 10, 2023; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Malik Cunningham (16)
Aug 10, 2023; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Malik Cunningham (16) / Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots' quarterback situation has taken another turn.

On Tuesday, the Baltimore Ravens signed Patriots QB Malik Cunningham off of New England's practice squad, bringing an end to the undrafted free agent's time in Foxborough.

After going undrafted in the 2023 NFL Draft, New England signed the Louisville product as a free agent. Cunningham was promoted to the active roster on Oct. 14 on a three-year contract before he was released by the team on Oct. 24 and then signed back to the practice squad the following day.

Cunningham only appeared in one game this season, a Week Six 21-17 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders. He recorded a mere six snaps in Vegas and was sacked on his only pass attempt.

There was speculation that he would see an increased role in Week 13 against the Los Angeles Chargers, but Cunningham didn't receive any playing time despite the quarterback confirming postgame that there was a package of plays designed for him.

Cunningham flashed in the preseason against the Houston Texans, and gave Patriots fans a brief hope that the team could finally employ an athletic dual-threat quarterback that New England has always lacked. With the struggles of Mac Jones under center this season and the team's abysmal record, there was a considerable contingent of Patriots fans vocalizing their support for Cunningham to start.

Cunningham will reunite with another former Louisville QB, Lamar Jackson, in Baltimore. Cunningham was a lethal dual-threat quarterback with the Cardinals, racking up 12,839 all purpose yards and 120 touchdowns during his collegiate career.

With Cunningham's departure, Bailey Zappe and Jones remain the only two quarterbacks on New England's active roster, while Will Grier is left as the lone signal-caller on the practice squad.

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