Patriots to Cut Record-Setting Quarterback: Report

Jerod Mayo

Getty Jerod Mayo plans to cut quarterback Nathan Rourke according to ESPN's Mike Reiss.

Amid two quarterback additions in the draft, the New England Patriots will thin out the quarterback room.

New England “informed QB Nathan Rourke that he is being waived, per sources” according to ESPN’s Mike Reiss on May 6. Rourke spent December 2023 with the Patriots after a record-setting career in the CFL.

He completed 78.7% of his passes  in 2022 with the British Columbia Lions, a CFL record. Rourke won the CFL Most Outstanding Canadian award that year.

His departure will trim the Patriots’ quarterback room down to four players as Reiss pointed out. New England still has No. 3 pick Drake Maye, sixth-round pick Joe Milton, free agent acquisition Jacoby Brissett, and veteran backup Bailey Zappe.

Teams carry 2-3 quarterbacks on the 53-man roster, so more cuts will likely be coming in August during training camp. The Patriots could keep a quarterback on the practice squad, which means the team could keep all four of the current quarterbacks.

Only Bailey Zappe Remains From QB Overhaul

Zappe is the only quarterback left from the 2023 season once Rourke is cut. The Patriots had an abysmal year with a 4-13 record, which led to the departures of former head coach Bill Belichick and former No. 15 pick Mac Jones.

New England will look to start over with the new head coach Jerod Mayo and either start Brissett or Maye depending on how things play out in camp. The Patriots brought back Brissett after seven years away to serve as a bridge quarterback for Maye.

That could change if Maye wins the starting job in training camp. New England made major changes on offense with all but one pick going toward offense.

The Patriots offense majorly struggled in 2023 with just 13.9 points per game and 295.2 yards per contest. Part of whether or not Maye starts right away could come down to how ready the rest of the offense is.

Jacoby Brissett Wants to Compete for Patriots’ Starting Job

Brissett says he came to compete for the starting job regardless of Maye’s readiness. Brissett played sparingly in Washington last season, but he started 11 games for the Cleveland Browns in 2022. He has 48 career starts amid his stints with the Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins, Browns, and Commanders.

“That’s all out of my control, so I don’t really worry about that. I’m excited to have him on the team, and the other guys as well that we drafted and picked up. I think it’s going to be good,” Brissett said via Reiss on May 1. “Competition brings out the best in all of us, so I’m excited about that part.”

That said, the Patriots view Brissett in a mentorship role, too, as Reiss pointed out. Brissett also had familiarity with Maye because Maye’s former North Carolina teammate and fellow quarterback Sam Howell played for the Commanders with Brissett last season.

“I’m a little bit familiar with him, and obviously talking to each other now that we are on the same team. So I’m sure that relationship will grow,” Brissett said.

New England will likely keep Brissett regardless of who starts Week 1 or beyond. Milton meanwhile is viewed as a project quarterback. Zappe’s future remains murky after his struggles last season, and trade speculation surfaced after the Patriots drafted Milton.

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