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Patriots waiving backup quarterback after QB-heavy draft: Report

In Sports
May 07, 2024

Patriots waiving backup quarterback after QB-heavy draft: Report originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The New England Patriots‘ quarterback room will look a whole lot different in 2024.

The Patriots are waiving backup QB Nathan Rourke, ESPN’s Mike Reiss reported Monday morning. The Patriots claimed Rourke off waivers from the Jacksonville Jaguars in mid-December, but the 25-year-old didn’t appear in a game.

UPDATE (4:30 p.m. ET): The Patriots officially announced Rourke’s release Monday afternoon.

Rourke’s release leaves four quarterbacks on New England‘s depth chart: Eight-year veteran Jacoby Brissett, backup Bailey Zappe and rookies Drake Maye and Joe Milton.

While Rourke’s exit comes as little surprise, it’s another step toward the Patriots overhauling a critical position this offseason. The team traded Mac Jones to Jacksonville in March and double-dipped on QBs in the 2024 NFL Draft, taking Maye at No. 3 overall and Milton in the sixth round at 193 overall.

The question now is whether Zappe will remain on the team in 2024. Brissett and Maye are locks, and if Milton impresses during the offseason program and training camp, the Patriots could look for a trade partner for Zappe — who posted a 4-4 record over eight games as a starter in 2022 and 2023 — or release him outright if no deal materializes.

Another option for New England would be placing Milton on the practice squad and keeping Zappe as the third-string QB, although there would be a risk of another team claiming Milton off waivers.

Maye and Milton will get to work this week, as Patriots rookie minicamp begins Friday.

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