Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Will Grier is leaving the Cincinnati Bengals for the New England Patriots. It is a curious move given Joe Burrow is dealing with a calf injury, which would seemingly pave the way for Grier to potentially play. The key here is Grier landing a deal on the Patriots active roster. NFL rules permit practice squad players to sign with another team if it is for a spot on their 53-man roster.
“Former Cowboys’ QB Will Grier is signing to the Patriots active roster, per source,” ESPN’s Adam Schefter said in a series of September 21, 2023 tweets. “With Will Grier going to New England, the Bengals now don’t have a QB2 on their roster if Joe Burrow can’t play on Monday night vs. the Rams.”
It is important to note that Grier now becomes the Patriots third quarterback with Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe already in New England. Boston Herald’s Doug Kyed believes there is a chance for Grier to become New England’s backup quarterback.
“Grier must be on the Patriots’ roster or paid for three weeks since he was signed off of a practice squad, per NFL rules,” Kyed detailed on September 21. “The Patriots initially waived Zappe during roster cuts. Once he cleared waivers, he signed to the Patriots’ practice squad.
“He was signed to the 53-man roster before Week 1. Zappe didn’t impress the Patriots in training camp and preseason, so it would not be surprising if Grier passed him on the depth chart at some point this season.”
Will Grier Signed With the Cincinnati Bengals After Being Cut by the Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys opted to trade for Trey Lance which left no room for Grier given Dallas already has Cooper Rush as the team’s backup quarterback. Dallas released Grier as the team finalized their 53-man roster.
Grier signed a practice squad deal with Cincinnati on August 30. Dallas was open about their desire to re-sign Grier to their practice squad, but it likely was an unappealing option with both Rush and Lance on the roster.
“Mike McCarthy said yesterday that he’d love to have Will Grier back as the Cowboys’ fourth QB,” The Athletic’s Jon Machota said on Twitter on August 30. “He was going to be Dallas’ No. 3 before last Friday’s trade for Trey Lance.”
Dak Prescott Is a Big Fan of Will Grier’s Game
After Grier’s final preseason outing with Dallas, Dak Prescott expressed admiration for the quarterback as well as sadness for his release. The Panthers selected Grier in the third round of the 2019 NFL draft.
“As I said, man just played his a** off,” Prescott told reporters on August 27. “That’s who Will is. That’s who Will’s been from the time that he’s been here, and it was awesome that he got to go out there and put that performance on display and hope the rest of the league saw that and took notice.”
As for the Cowboys, it will be interesting to see if Lance plays a role on the team at all in 2023. Lance’s four-year, $34 million rookie contract runs through the 2024 season.