New England Patriots cut QB 10 days after signing him to three-year deal

New England Patriots cut QB 10 days after signing him to three-year deal
from Vinny Somma, with

Tuesday brought even more question marks to the quarterback room in Foxborough.

Malik Cunningham, who the New England Patriots handed a three-year deal to just 10 days ago, was waived from the 53-man roster. New England also released defensive end Trey Flowers, who had been designated to return from injured reserve.

Cunningham, a dual-threat playmaker during his days starring at Louisville, served as the No. 2 quarterback behind Mac Jones in New England’s Week 6 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders. In the game, Cunningham logged six snaps, lining up at quarterback twice and receiver for the four other plays.

After the contest, Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien lauded Cunningham’s versatility, saying the undrafted rookie “can play a lot of different places.”

Despite the praise, Cunningham was made a healthy scratch in New England’s Week 7 win over the Buffalo Bills. Musical chairs continued behind Jones, as Bailey Zappe reprised his role as the No. 2 quarterback while Will Grier served as the No. 3 emergency option.

While Cunningham is Louisville’s fourth all-time leading passer, chances of him unseating Jones were slim to none, which paints a telling picture of New England’s shortcoming on offense.

Averaging the second-fewest points in the NFL (14.4), the Patriots elevated Cunningham to the active roster not to push Jones but to serve as a gadget player — in other words, a stopgap solution for more substantial issues.

No Patriots running back averages more than 3.7 YPC this season, while Kendrick Bourne is the lone wide receiver on the roster to catch a touchdown pass. Jones’ play has been spotty at best, quarterbacking the 12th-worst pass offense (208.9) in football. Nevertheless, it’s difficult to gauge the former first-round pick’s viability as a long-term solution under center when his offense is scarce on playmakers.