4 Patriots already on the chopping block before OTAs

New England Patriots v Pittsburgh Steelers
New England Patriots v Pittsburgh Steelers / Cooper Neill/GettyImages
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4 Patriots already on the chopping block before OTAs

Bailey Zappe

Over the last two years, the Patriots seem to have a love/hate relationship with backup quarterback Bailey Zappe. He was selected in the fourth round of the 2022 draft and expected to backup Mac Jones, but was thrown into the game as a rookie when Jones injured his ankle in Week 4.

Zappe looked impressive stepping in, even nearly taking home a win against the Aaron Rodgers-led Packers at Lambeau Field.

He helped keep the team afloat in Jones's absence and even began to receive tremendous support from Patriots fans, many of whom wanted him to remain the starting quarterback moving forward.

That's not what happened, as Jones was put back under center once he returned and assumed that role until midway through the 2023 season. Because he had become a liability on the field for the Patriots, helping ensure they lost games more than helping to win them, he was benched for Zappe, who went on to finish the season as the QB1.

He, too, had his fair share of struggles and put together some standout moments like the impressive win over the Broncos in Denver. But he didn't look good enough to become the starter in New England permanently and is now fighting for a spot as one of the backups for the season ahead.

His chances are becoming more improbable by the day, as Jacoby Brissett, Drake Maye, and Joe Milton III have all been deemed the top 3 at the position. Zappe can remain with the team if he has a good summer, but it seems more likely he will be traded to a team needing a solid backup.