Bill Belichick says Patriots plan to bring back Malik Cunningham if he’s not claimed


Teams generally have 24 hours to claim a waived player, except in rare instances.

Malik Cunningham Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images
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Patriots coach Bill Belichick said that he plans to bring Malik Cunningham back to the practice squad on one condition.

“If he’s not claimed,” Belichick said.

The Patriots cut Cunningham on Tuesday, less than two weeks after they signed him to the 53-man active roster.

When asked about the move, Belichick said he was doing the best thing for the football team.

The waiver period lasts 24 hours, except in rare incidents. That means teams likely have a day to claim Cunningham before the Patriots can bring him back.

The Patriots cut Cunningham and Bailey Zappe on cutdown day, but they both cleared waivers, which allowed them to return to the team. Cunningham could return to New England if things go similarly for him this time around.

The rookie quarterback was elevated to the roster for the Raiders game and was slotted at backup quarterback over Zappe that day. Mac Jones, who had been benched in back-to-back games against the Cowboys and Saints, was able to complete the game.

The Patriots played Cunningham for six snaps against the Raiders. He did not play in the Patriots’ win against the Bills. Cunningham has zero passing attempts this season, and was sacked once. He was used in pre-snap motion on the touchdown Ezekiel Elliott scored against Las Vegas.

New England signed the former Louisville quarterback as an undrafted free-agent. They’ve mostly worked him out as a receiver in practice, with some snaps on special teams and a little bit of quarterback play.

Originally posted 2023-10-25 14:35:08.