Patriots Preseason

Malik Cunningham shares mindset with roster cuts looming

"Just keep my head down and keep working.”

NBC Universal, Inc.

The New England Patriots have some difficult decisions to make over the next few days. They must trim their roster down from 90 players to 53 before Tuesday's 4 p.m. ET deadline.

One of the toughest calls to make will be the fate of rookie quarterback/wide receiver Malik Cunningham. The Louisville product has showcased his intriguing athleticism throughout camp, though finding a spot for him on the roster will be a challenge.

Cunningham didn't do much to strengthen his case during Friday's preseason finale vs. the Tennessee Titans. He failed to convert either of his two pass attempts and caught only one of his four targets for minus-1 yards. He tallied five yards on one carry.

Despite the forgettable performance, Cunningham is keeping a positive attitude with roster cuts looming.

“There’s a lot of stuff that I still need to work on, but I feel like I put enough good stuff on film to let the coaches make that decision,” Cunningham said after the Patriots' 23-7 loss. “It’s not my decision. I can only control what I can control. Just keep my head down and keep working.”

Cunningham was asked if he has a preference between quarterback and receiver.

“Nah, I’m a football player,” he answered. “Whatever they need me to do, I’m gonna do it.”

It's far more likely Cunningham makes the team as a quarterback than as a wideout, especially considering backup QB Bailey Zappe's continued struggles. However, our Phil Perry sees New England going with only two QBs (Mac Jones and Zappe). In that scenario, Cunningham ideally would clear waivers and land on the practice squad.

The Patriots finished their preseason with a 1-2 record. They'll open their regular season at home against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sept. 10.

Contact Us