After the surprising cuts of Malik Cunningham and Bailey Zappe just hours before the roster cutdown deadline on Tuesday, there were many questions regarding who would wind up becoming the backup quarterback behind Mac Jones for the 2023 season.
After having a reasonably successful rookie year in 2022, Bill Belichick's decision to waive Zappe created shockwaves throughout the NFL. Not only because he is set to begin just his second season in the NFL but also because it left Mac Jones as the only quarterback on the team, at least for the time being.
Once the news began circulating about Cunningham and Zappe's releases, the assumption was that the Patriots were likely either going to re-sign them to the practice squad if they both cleared waivers or Belichick had his eye on a specific quarterback who had already been released by his former team.
That began a lot of conversation about who those potential quarterbacks could be, with names like Nick Foles and Carson Wentz beginning to circulate in New England.
It was rumored that Belichick wanted a veteran quarterback to sit behind Jones this upcoming season, which seemingly eliminated the two players he cut on Tuesday while simultaneously fueling the Foles and Wentz rumors even further.
Not everyone in New England had caught Zappe fever, but there was a collective agreement amongst the fans that neither quarterback was wanted on the roster, even in a backup role.
Although Wentz was once considered the next franchise quarterback of the Eagles, a late-season injury in 2017 ended his noteworthy season and seemed to be the start of his career downfall.
He remained in Philadelphia until they traded him to the Colts in 2021, where he lasted just one season. The following year, he was traded to the Commanders and lost his job to Taylor Heinicke after an injury landed him on injured reserve.
He's been unimpressive since that Super Bowl-winning season, and bringing him in doesn't seem like a better decision than keeping Zappe on the bench behind Jones.
The feeling around Foles is similar, but with a much bigger reason for fans to want him nowhere near Foxboro.
Besides the fact that Foles has had a roller-coaster career in the NFL, especially since he won the Super Bowl for the Eagles when he replaced Wentz that fateful season, he led the Eagles to a win against the Patriots in Super Bowl 52, a game that leaves many New England fans bitter to this day. So the idea of Foles suiting up in a Patriots uniform just feels wrong.
Fortunately, it's not something fans will have to worry about anymore, as MassLive reporter Mark Daniels revealed early Wednesday morning.
Despite that concern being dealt with, it remains unclear if Belichick intends to bring in a veteran QB to be Jones' backup. Cunningham and Zappe were both signed to the practice squad, allowing them to possibly be brought back to the 53-man roster. However, now Belichick has more options to consider after all players have cleared waivers by Wednesday afternoon.
Who that may be is unknown, but it's clear it won't be Foles or Wentz at least.