While Mac Jones’s struggle was visible in the offensive lineup of the New England Patriots, the team soon felt motivated to add Malik Cunnigham to their 53-man roster. The tie remained constant in the locker room but not on the field, as Malik was neglected throughout the whole season.
As the Patriots failed to give value to Cunningham’s athleticism, the Baltimore Ravens came forward to let the rookie see his NFL dream successful, and the Patriots offensive tackle threw a sly jab at his team’s decision.
Ravens sign Malik Cunningham
NFL players making unexpected leaps from the practice squad to the active roster are not uncommon. Malik Cunningham, who has prowess in both quarterback and receiver position, recently found himself in such a situation, transitioning from the New England Patriots practice squad to the active roster of the Ravens.
Malik Cunningham’s journey took an interesting turn as the Patriots signed him to a three-year contract in mid-October, suggesting a commitment to his development, as per ESPN. Nevertheless, his time with the Patriots was marked by uncertainty and experimentation, as coach Bill Belichick faced quarterback challenges, even trying Cunningham as a wide receiver.
The rookie star player already conveyed his gratitude for his time in New England and took to social media to thank Patriots owner Robert Kraft and coach Bill Belichick. In a tweet via ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Cunningham acknowledged the invaluable experience gained under Belichick, expressing admiration for the legendary coach, who is vying to surpass Don Shula.
“I want to be a coach one day, so I would take notes from Coach Belichick because he’s one of the greatest of all time,” Cunningham said.
The quarterback’s move to the Ravens comes with a chance for a fresh start and a promising opportunity. Reuniting with former college teammate Lamar Jackson, Cunningham joins a team that currently sits at the top of the AFC North. Cunningham’s luck surely play out if the deal goes through, as the trade will send him from the 3-10 Patriots to the 10-3 Ravens.
Meanwhile, the Ravens plan to retain all four quarterbacks, including Cunningham, signaling a strategic approach to their quarterback lineup.
Looking ahead, Cunningham’s impact on the Ravens may extend beyond the current season. With Tyler Huntley set to become an unrestricted free agent, Cunningham stands poised to secure the role of a long-term backup to star quarterback Lamar Jackson.
Patriots OT sends a strong message to Malik Cunningham
Despite Malik Cunningham’s undeniable athleticism and versatility, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien seemingly failed to explore the full extent of his capabilities within the offensive scheme. The absence of opportunities for Cunningham to showcase his skills in various offensive roles raises questions about the Patriots’ strategic decisions and player utilization.
The lone regular-season appearance for Cunningham in a Patriots uniform occurred during a Week 6 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders. This limited playing time stands in stark contrast to the potential contributions Cunningham could have made on the field.
The sentiments of Patriots offensive tackle Trent Brown expressed through an Instagram story shed light on the perception within the team regarding Cunningham’s departure. Brown’s message, “Go flourish where your talent is respected lil bradda,” suggests a belief that Malik Cunningham’s abilities were not adequately acknowledged or valued by the Patriots coaching staff.
Throughout the season, Cunningham found himself in a crowded quarterback room alongside Jones and Zappe. Before being waived by the team and subsequently re-signed to the practice squad, Cunningham was not viewed as a viable option for the starting quarterback position.
The timing of Cunningham’s departure coincides with uncertainties surrounding Belichick’s future in New England. Furthermore, the Patriots’ quarterback situation, once seemingly stable with Mac Jones as the starter, has encountered turbulence, leading to multiple benchings and the introduction of Bailey Zappe into the mix.
What’s your take on the Patriot’s negligence toward their rookie starter? Make sure to let us know in the comments section.