Patriots prefer to have veteran backup QB with Mac Jones

Report: Patriots prefer to have veteran backup QB with Mac Jones originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

What’s the New England Patriots’ plan at quarterback?

They currently have just one QB on their 53-man roster right now after waiving backup Bailey Zappe and rookie Malik Cunningham before Tuesday’s NFL deadline.

Both Zappe and Cunningham cleared waivers Wednesday, per ESPN’s Field Yates. So it’s still possible that Zappe could be the backup QB in Week 1 of the regular season, or he could go to the practice squad. Cunningham is a practice squad candidate, too.

Mike Giardi of Boston Sports Journal reported Wednesday that while the Patriots still want to work with Zappe, their preference is to have a veteran backup behind starter Mac Jones.

A veteran makes sense. That kind of player could be a mentor for Jones, much like Brian Hoyer was during Jones’ rookie campaign in 2021. A veteran, depending on who it is, of course, probably would have a better chance of stepping in and running the offense at a high level in the event Jones is injured than Zappe would.

The problem for the Patriots is the QB options on the free agent market and waiver wire are pretty weak. Jake Fromm, Chase Daniel, Trevor Siemian, Jeff Driskel, Ben DiNucci and Tommy DeVito are among the best available at the position. Do any of those names excite you? Probably not.

A trade might be the best path for the Patriots to get a veteran backup. Case Keenum of the Houston Texans is perhaps the best player to target for that role.