Patriots reportedly ‘planning’ for Bailey Zappe to return as backup QB

Morning Sports Update

Despite New England’s reported interest in bringing him back, Zappe “has a real chance to get claimed” off waivers.

Bailey Zappe Patriots
Bailey Zappe warming up in front of Bill O’Brien prior to a Patriots 2023 preseason game against the Titans. AP Photo/Wade Payne

The latest on Bailey Zappe: Possibly the biggest surprise to emerge from the Patriots’ roster cuts on Tuesday was the decision to release quarterback Bailey Zappe.

Zappe, a 2022 fourth-round pick, went 2-0 in a limited starting role as a rookie and completed 70.7 percent of his passes. He was expected to easily make the roster as Mac Jones’s backup.

But given the needs that New England has to retain depth at other positions, Zappe and fellow quarterback Malik Cunningham were cut.

It may not be the end of Zappe’s tenure in New England, however, as the Patriots are certainly expected to add at least one more quarterback to the roster prior to the start of the season.

According to Dianna Russini and Jeff Howe of The Athletic, Zappe is in line to remain the backup should he clear waivers and make it back to the team’s practice squad.

It’s not a sure thing that the 24-year-old will go unclaimed, and New England is “working through a list of who will be available” as a contingency, per Russini.

Having additional options might prove necessary, as NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport explained.

“Bailey Zappe certainly had more than his share of moments last year. I was there when the whole crowd was chanting his name, seemed like he was a darling,” Rapoport explained, as transcribed by NESN’s Adam London. “Instead, the Patriots released Bailey Zappe. He now heads to waivers, and it does sound like he has a real chance to get claimed. I know there’s going to be some interest in a really smart quarterback with plenty of game experience.

Rapoport, after discussing Cunningham also being released, acknowledged that the Patriots will “probably add a backup over the next couple of days.”

The Patriots have some time to finalize the full roster before the regular season opener. New England kicks off at Gillette Stadium against the Eagles in Week 1 on Sept. 10 at 4:25 p.m.

Trivia: Bailey Zappe was drafted out of Western Kentucky. What former Patriots defensive coordinator also went there?

(Answer at the bottom)

Hint: He won three Super Bowls with the Patriots (and also won two as an assistant coach with the Giants).

Scores and schedule:

The Red Sox lost to the Astros 6-2 on Tuesday. The two teams conclude the four-game series today at 4:10 p.m. Boston is now 6.5 games behind in the chase for the final American League wild-card spot.

Also tonight, the Revolution host the Red Bulls at Gillette Stadium at 7:30 p.m.

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