Coaches wanted to give Malik Cunningham a shot to be the Patriots QB before Mac Jones benching
When news dropped that Malik Cunningham was signing with the Ravens last week, there was a lot of disappointment and confusion from Patriots fans and players, as they were all hoping to see what the dual-threat player would bring to the field when given a chance during a regular season game.
However, it was a bittersweet moment since Baltimore was probably a better place for him to be since they have honed Lamar Jackson's talent since drafting him in 2018. So it seemed like a team that would give Cunningham a proper opportunity, which certainly wasn't the case with Bill Belichick and Co. in New England.
But before he moved on to his new team, it looked like the rookie was going to take the field after Mac Jones was benched for the season, even more so as Bailey Zappe hadn't looked any better when replacing him. That never happened, though, and it remains a question that will probably never be answered.
It's clear he made an impact during his time in Foxboro, though, as countless teammates posted farewells to Cunningham when the announcement of his departure was made. And apparently, the players aren't the only ones who wanted to give him a shot on the field.
NESN's Patriots reporter Phil Perry revealed this week that coaches and teammates were impressed with how Cunningham looked in the preseason, especially against the Texans, and wanted to make him the quarterback in Week 6 after the team's second blowout loss in a row to the Saints.
"I will tell you this: I heard from coaches after the Saints game. So, two blowouts in a row, bad quarterback play. And I had coaches say to me, ‘We might as well try Malik at this point. What do we have to lose?’ And so, that may have been reflective of a greater portion of the locker room than maybe I was willing to give credit to at the time."
If this is really the case, why didn't it happen? Why was Cunningham signed to the game day roster but never took the field?
Why was he left on the practice squad to sign elsewhere?
Was this a decision made by Belichick to keep him sidelined? Unfortunately, these questions will never be answered, and we will forever wonder what went wrong and who is responsible for the absolute botching of a potentially exciting quarterback in New England.