One of the biggest surprises of cutdown day in the NFL resided in Foxborough. The Patriots elected to waive second-year quarterback Bailey Zappe, according to CBS Sports NFL Insider Jonathan Jones. However, his absence was short-lived as the young signal-caller has since cleared waivers and has since signed with the Patriots' practice squad, per ESPN.
After waiving Zappe and previously cutting Trace McSorley, Mac Jones was the only quarterback on the active roster. While that still remains the case, they do have Zappe under the tent heading into the regular season.
Also on the (somewhat) quarterback front, the Patriots did waive rookie Malik Cunningham as well, but he has also returned via the practice squad, per The Athletic. The Louisville product was a college quarterback and saw some snaps under center in the preseason but has been transitioning to a receiver/returner.
The Patriots drafted Zappe in the fourth round last year, and the quarterback out of Western Kentucky had impressed during his rookie year. He even threatened Jones for the starting job at times throughout the year. He started two games and appeared in four. The Patriots went 2-0 in both of Zappe's starts and the young quarterback completed 70.7% of his passes in limited action to go along with five touchdowns and three interceptions while averaging 195.3 yards passing.
This summer, however, wasn't the best showing for Zappe as he entered Year 2. He struggled early in training camp and oftentimes checked down a bit too much during competitive drills. In the preseason finale against Tennessee, Zappe completed 8 of 15 for 57 yards and was sacked four times.
Meanwhile, Cunningham is looked at much more as a project. While he was initially thought to simply transition to a receiver/returner in the NFL, the Patriots did give him some reps at quarterback and flashed during the team's preseason opener. In the finale against Tennessee, he saw minimal work under center, dropping back to pass twice and did not complete a throw.