The experiment involving Malik Cunningham has come to an end for the New England Patriots. On Tuesday, the team decided to waive Cunningham, an undrafted free-agent quarterback known for his versatile skills.
Just a couple of weeks ago, Cunningham was thrust into the role of backup quarterback behind Mac Jones for a Week 6 matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders. While he only had six snaps on the field during that game, it was intriguing to see him line up as a quarterback twice and also in other positions like wide receiver and slot receiver for two snaps each. Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien praised Cunningham’s versatility after the game, hinting that they could utilize him in various offensive roles. However, it seemed that his usage would be determined on a week-by-week basis.
In Week 7, Cunningham wasn’t used at all and was inactive for a game against the Buffalo Bills, a contest the Patriots managed to win 29-25. While the Patriots still struggled to rank 31st in the league in points scored, their 29 points against the Bills marked a season-high.
It’s worth noting that Cunningham’s release and subsequent headlines aren’t entirely surprising. He had previously been released by the team on cutdown day back in August alongside Bailey Zappe, who was the team’s primary backup at the time. Both were later re-signed.
Given his skills and potential, Cunningham may not remain unemployed for long. Another NFL team might claim him, or he could find himself back in the good graces of the New England Patriots once again.
In other news, the Patriots also announced on Tuesday that they had released veteran defensive lineman Trey Flowers from the physically unable to perform list.