Malik Cunningham, the former Louisville quarterback signed by the Patriots as an undrafted free agent, impressed in his preseason debut. Playing as a quarterback, Cunningham completed three of four passes for 19 yards and ran the ball five times for 34 yards, scoring the team’s only touchdown. Patriots coach Bill Belichick praised Cunningham’s poise and toughness, stating that they are evaluating him as both a receiver and a quarterback. While his primary path to making the roster is as a wide receiver, his performance at quarterback is a valuable bonus. NBC Sports reported
When the New England Patriots signed Malik Cunningham, a former quarterback from Louisville, as an undrafted free agent, it was expected that he would have to transition to the wide receiver position in order to secure a spot on the roster. However, in the team’s preseason opener, Cunningham impressed as a quarterback during practice.
Following the game, Patriots coach Bill Belichick expressed his satisfaction with Cunningham’s performance at quarterback. Cunningham completed three out of four passes for 19 yards and also rushed the ball five times for 34 yards, including the team’s only touchdown in their 20-9 loss to the Houston Texans. Belichick praised Cunningham’s poise, toughness, and ability to lead the team.
Belichick revealed that the Patriots are evaluating Cunningham’s skills both as a receiver and a quarterback. Cunningham has been training in both positions, and his hard work and improvement as a receiver have been commendable. Belichick acknowledged Cunningham’s dedication and mentioned that he has impressed in his limited opportunities as a quarterback.
Realistically, Cunningham’s chances of making the roster primarily rely on his potential as a wide receiver and his contributions on special teams. However, his ability to showcase his skills as a quarterback provides an additional advantage and an opportunity to secure the third spot on the depth chart behind Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe.
In conclusion, Malik Cunningham has displayed his versatility by performing well as both a wide receiver and a quarterback during the Patriots’ preseason. While his main focus may be on the receiver position, his ability to contribute as a quarterback is a valuable asset and could potentially elevate his standing within the team..