Bailey Zappe

Slater admits Zappe being waived was ‘surprising to a lot of us'

“I know he’ll land on his feet and do a great job."

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The New England Patriots waiving Bailey Zappe before Tuesday's NFL deadline for teams to trim their rosters to 53 players was definitely a surprise.

In fact, it was one of the most surprising cutdown day decisions across the league.

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The move was also a surprise to players in the Patriots locker room, as special teams ace Matthew Slater admitted Tuesday.

“I guess I’ve learned to expect the unexpected,” Slater told reporters. “You just worry about the things that you can control. You keep your head down and hope you do a good enough job, and you support your teammates. Certainly, something like that is, I guess, surprising for a lot of us. But that’s just kind of the nature of this business.”

Zappe could still be the backup for the Patriots in Week 1 of the regular season if he clears waivers. He also could go to the Patriots' practice squad if he clears waivers.

Regardless of what happens, Slater is confident Zappe will bounce back.

“I know he’ll land on his feet and do a great job,” Slater said. “And I also trust that coach (Bill Belichick) is always doing what’s in the best interest of the football team and puts us in the best position to have success. So, mixed emotions on that. But I love Bailey. He knows how I feel about him. He’s one of my favorite kids of all time.”

If Zappe is claimed by another team, the Patriots will have to look at the free agent market for a backup quarterback. There aren't many good options available. Two veterans the Patriots reportedly don't have interest in signing right now are Carson Wentz and Nick Foles.

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