The Patriots have dealt with an incredibly tough 2023 season, and it appears it will go down as the worst year in the Bill Belichick era for more reasons than just their record.
Among the slew of issues that have dominated headlines every week surrounding the roster of quarterbacks, from Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe to the mysterious Matt Corral, Malik Cunningham, and Will Grier, it has been a jumble of signal callers with none that seemed like the right fit to Bill Belichick.
But the problem with that presumed belief from the head coach is that some of the players were never given a proper opportunity, with the biggest flub being the complete misuse of dual-threat quarterback Cunningham. That made his signing with the Baltimore Ravens disappointing for many Patriots fans.
And apparently, they aren't the only ones that feel that way.
Trent Brown has been outspoken with some of his thoughts on matters like this during his time on the team, and he made his feelings known when the rookie QB was announced to be moving South.
Although most agreed with his assessment, his post created some controversy, with some assuming this latest shot at coaching from Brown indicated he may want off the team when he hits free agency in March. Whether or not that's an accurate perception is not clear, but Brown did double down on his belief that Cunningham deserved better treatment in his time with the team.
"Absolutely. Everybody on the team did. Everybody."
Within his disagreement about the coaching staff's decision not to utilize Cunningham's multiple talents as a football player, Brown shared a conversation he had with the quarterback months ago, revealing he told him that if the Ravens called about signing him, he needed to go there, as Brown believed that was where he would thrive the most.
"It’s funny because I told him months ago if they ever called, if anybody, that’s the team where he should go. It was almost like I saw it coming. . . . And that’s really good for him to actually get a real chance to play his real position."
Given Cunningham's style is similar to Lamar Jackson's and the fact they both attended LSU, Brown is not wrong about the quarterback's potential in joining the Ravens under John Harbaugh. They've proven to be a team that understands how to use a quarterback with that unique skillset properly, turning doubters of Jackson into believers.
Now, the former college teammates will have another chance to work together and learn from each other.
But even knowing that and being happy for Cunningham, Brown is still disappointed that he was never allowed to build upon what he showed on the field in the preseason. The tackle felt the game against the Texans in August was the most exciting game of the preseason, mainly because Cunningham was the quarterback.
"I mean, probably the most exciting drive we had in that stadium was against Houston in preseason games this season. Like, my guy couldn’t even get a red jersey."
It will certainly go down as one of the more questionable decisions made by Belichick in recent years if not his entire career. Cunningham deserved a chance to show what he could do in a regular season game especially once Mac Jones was officially benched and Bailey Zappe eventually falling off a cliff in the second half of back to back games once named the starter.
How Cunningham would have fared will forever be a "What if?" during a season with questionable quarterbacking, but hopefully, he will be successful with the Ravens and can have the career he deserves.