While many NFL players steel themselves for the possibility of being cut when teams must trim their rosters down to just 53 players, New England quarterback Bailey Zappe was not one of them.
Reports from Zappe’s camp indicate it was a shock to the player and his agent when Zappe was waived last week by the Patriots. No one was expecting it, and even though Zappe was signed to the team’s practice squad a few days later, the shock still hasn’t worn off.
There was only one word that could describe how Zappe felt.
“The word that I got from somebody in Zappe’s camp was blindsided. ‘We were as blindsided as you,’” Patriots.com’s Evan Lazar told the Patriots Unfiltered podcast.
Lazar also said Zappe did not have any indication he’d be waived and that the team, or coach Bill Belichick, didn’t discuss the possibility or give him a heads up that his release was impending.
Zappe, drafted by New England in the fourth round of the 2022 draft out of Western Kentucky, was signed to the Patriots’ practice squad after an injury opened a roster spot. His long-term status in New England is uncertain as the Patriots signed former Carolina Panthers quarterback Matt Corral, who has a connection with new offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien.
Although he appears to be on the outs with Belichick and O’Brien, Zappe performed well in four starts for the injured Mac Jones last season. In four games over October 2022, Zappe completed 65 of 92 (70%) passes for 781 yards for five touchdowns and three interceptions, finishing with a quarterback rating of 100.9. Not too shabby for a rookie.
The young quarterback appears to be on the wrong end of a political shift where any remnants of former offensive coordinator Matt Patricia’s system seem out of favor — including some players.