There have been a lot of eyes on the New England Patriots’ quarterback situation this offseason.
Fans had been wondering if there is actually any kind of a competition going on between Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe for the starting job.
It turned out that Mac Jones was never really in danger of losing his spot at the top of the depth chart and now it seems that there may be another QB that will see more playing time than Zappe this season.
That quarterback is rookie Malik Cunningham.
While Cunningham probably isn’t going to be the Patriots’ starting quarterback any time soon, he could still occupy an interesting role in the team’s offense.
While his passing impact in his preseason debut was minimal, Cunningham did get to put his versatility on display.
Cunningham ran 5 times for 34 yards in the game and also lined up at wide receiver 10 times.
ESPN’s Mike Reiss believes that could lead to Cunningham playing in a role for the Patriots similar to what Taysom Hill does for the New Orleans Saints.
Story: Last season, there was only 1 NFL player who totaled double-digit snaps at both QB and WR in a game – which undrafted Malik Cunningham did in the Patriots' preseason opener.
On the intriguing Taysom Hill-type role that could be evolving in NE: https://t.co/9WedoawKFZ
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) August 18, 2023
Having Cunningham available to play in a wildcat formation would add an interesting wrinkle to the New England Patriots’ offense that completely lacked any inventiveness last season.
Cunningham wasn’t used much as a receiver in college. He made just 2 catches in 5 years at Louisville. However, he was a pretty good runner. Over 5 seasons with Louisiville, he ran for 3179 yards and 50 touchdowns.
Current starting Patriots QB Mac Jones doesn’t bring much in the way of versatility. In two NFL seasons, Jones has run just 91 times for 231 yards.
Cunningham playing in a Taysom Hill role would give opposing defenses something extra to worry about.
Lamar Jackson may not have been right about the whole QB1 thing, but it’s looking like there’s a chance we see a lot more of Cunningham than many would have expected.