That doesn't exactly bode well for Mac Jones, does it?
The Patriots have a few games left this year to figure out whether either one of those guys are worth bringing back in any capacity, and even though Zappe led the Pats to a win, my guess is that the team is going to have a brand-new starter under center in 2024.
It won't be Jones. It won't be Zappe. But, it also might not be a logical replacement, either. If the Patriots went more of a dark horse route, here are a few candidates to line up under center for the Pats in 2024.
1. Kyler Murray
Since coming back from an ACL tear, Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray has looked rough, for the most part. He's had some good moments, but you can tell there is plenty of rust there. The Cardinals are similar to the Patriots in terms of draft positioning right now, and Arizona would pick third overall if the draft was today.
That means the Cardinals could be in position to select one of the top two quarterbacks in the class, between Caleb Williams or Drake Maye. This doesn't seem like a Patriots move, to make a trade for Murray, but the possibility is certainly out there.
There is a good chance Arizona opts to trade Murray while resetting the quarterback clock. If they make him available, the Patriots should at least explore the option. Murray is still only 26 years old and one of the true dual-threat quarterbacks in the league today. If New England could land him for a deal that didn't include a first-round pick, it could be a home run type of trade.