Bailey Zappe and Malik Cunningham return to Patriots a day after being fired due to roster cuts: report

Bailey Zappe and Malik Cunningham’s split from the New England Patriots appears to have been short-lived. Both quarterbacks are expected to return to the team’s practice roster just a day after they were waived in the wake of roster cuts, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Wednesday.

NFL teams had to reduce their rosters to 53 players by Tuesday afternoon. The firings of Zappe and Cunningham left quarterback Mac Jones in his third year with the Patriots.

Both signal callers have approved the exemptions and are expected to return to Foxborough.


Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe enter the field

New England Patriots Mac Jones #10 and Bailey Zappe #4 enter the field prior to the game against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium on December 12, 2022 in Glendale, Arizona. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Zappe played four games for New England last year, starting two games for the injured Jones. He was the 2022 fourth-round draft pick from Western Kentucky.

Cunningham was not drafted in this year’s draft from Louisville.

Patriots’ Malik CUNNINGHAM set to play anywhere after great preseason: ‘It’s a blessing just to be here’

According to ESPN, New England could still be looking to add more players to the quarterback space. Meanwhile, Zappe will likely support Jones on matchdays.

Before the Patriots decided which players to add to the 53-man roster, coach Bill Belichick said the team will be making more adjustments to its roster over the next few days.

Malik Cunningham wants to pass

New England Patriots quarterback Malik Cunningham #16 appears to pass in the fourth quarter during the preseason game against the Houston Texans at Gillette Stadium on August 10, 2023 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Omar Rawlings/Getty Images)

“I want to warn you not to think things are over when they’re not necessarily over on many levels,” he said. “Some players that we sack will come back and play for us and be on the training team. We don’t know exactly what they will be, but we have a general idea.”

After a solid rookie performance in 2021 and a trip to the playoffs, Jones struggled last season. He appeared in 14 games, throwing 14 touchdowns against 11 interceptions.

Mac Jones throws a pass

Mac Jones #10 of the New England Patriots attempts a pass in the fourth quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at Gillette Stadium on December 24, 2022 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

Belichick made an unconventional decision last year when he declined to name an official offensive coordinator. Instead, longtime defensive coach Matt Patricia tended largely to the offensive side of the ball, working as senior football advisor.

Joe Judge, who primarily coached special teams throughout his career, worked as an offensive assistant and helped Patricia manage offense.


The Patriots ended the year 8-9, failing to qualify for the playoffs. New England hosts the reigning NFC champions Philadelphia Eagles on September 10 to open the 2023 season.

Rick Schindler

Rick Schindler is a Worldtimetodays U.S. News Reporter based in Canada. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Rick Schindler joined Worldtimetodays in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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