Saturday, July 20, 2024

Patriots elevate rookie Malik Cunningham from practice squad, sign QB/WR to 3-year deal, per report


The New England Patriots may be adding a new piece to juice up their moribund offense. With one open spot on the active roster, New England signed practice squad quarterback/wide receiver Malik Cunningham. But instead of simply elevating Cunningham from the practice squad to the gameday roster, the Patriots gave him a three-year deal, according to NFL Media

Cunningham played parts of five seasons at Louisville, completing 692 of 1,105 passes for 9,664 yards and 70 touchdowns against 29 interceptions. He also ran for 3,182 yards and 50 additional scores.

Cunningham was selected in the third round of the 2023 USFL Draft by the Birmingham Stallions, but went undrafted in the NFL and signed with New England as an undrafted free agent. After being waived at the end of training camp, he re-signed with the Patriots’ practice squad. 

The Patriots have struggled badly on offense this season, with the Mac Jones-led attack managing just 287 yards and 11 points per game to date. Jones has been benched in favor of Bailey Zappe in consecutive games against the Cowboys and Saints, which the Pats have lost by a combined score of 72-3. 

Cunningham spent time at both quarterback and receiver during the preseason, completing 3 of 6 passes for 19 yards, rushing 5 times for 39 yards and a touchdown, and catching 1 of 8 passes thrown in his direction for -1 yard. New England can use all the help it can get on offense, so there are certainly worse ideas than seeing what Cunningham can do if given an opportunity. 

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