Patriots Rumors: Bailey Zappe knew Mac Jones would be benched this season

Los Angeles Chargers v New England Patriots
Los Angeles Chargers v New England Patriots / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages

In the nearly four years since Tom Brady left the Patriots, it feels like there is a never-ending cycle of drama, questions, and speculation surrounding the team's quarterbacks, which has continued throughout the 2023 season. It was the primary source of chatter last season, as Bailey Zappe performed well in Mac Jones's absence, and the controversy of the quarterback carousel began.

It's what was referred to as Zappe Fever, and apparently, not everyone was cured of that after his stinker against the Bears in Week 7. There were rumors that some of those still intrigued by the young quarterback were his teammates, which has been rumored to be a source of some tension within the locker room this year.

But the question of who the QB1 in New England was seemed to be settled throughout training camp and preseason when Jones was performing much better than he had just one year ago, and Zappe was eventually waived just to be re-signed to the practice squad.

It appeared to be the end of the debate, but after Jones was benched four times and his backup stepped in, the conversation surrounding the position has been reignited.

That has intensified after Zappe led the team to just their win of the season against the Steelers on last Thursday Night Football, a feat nobody anticipated. And because of that, more rumors are being published about the alleged rivalry between the two quarterbacks, as TNF sideline reporter Kaylee Hartung revealed an interesting quote by Zappe that was shared with her during the game.

"Zappe said it was a wakeup call when he got cut by the Patriots in camp. As he signed with their practice squad the very next day, he told [Zach] Kittley [Zappe's offensive coordinator at Western Kentucky], 'Trust me, I've got this. Eventually, I'll be the starter."

The confidence can certainly be appreciated, especially from such a young player. But the indirect (or more direct?) shot at Jones cannot be overlooked. Clearly, Zappe didn't share the same belief in the former Alabama quarterback's ability to be the starter for the team and shared that sentiment with those around him.

If this is indeed his attitude, perhaps those rumors about some conflict between the pair have more truth to it than not. Or maybe this is all just a bunch of smoke just to make Zappe look bad while also putting down Jones in the process.

Neither would be surprising.

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