FOXBORO, Mass. — Bailey Zappe isn’t resigned to life as a backup quarterback, nor should he be.

Offseason reports — and comments from Robert Kraft — indicate the Patriots are committed to Mac Jones as their franchise quarterback. And the third-year pro was New England’s clear No. 1 quarterback during the three recent organized team activity practices open to reporters.

However, Belichick’s non-commital comments about Jones have left the door open for a quarterback competition this summer. Plus, how players split reps during spring practices doesn’t necessarily mean much. Cam Newton was the projected Week 1 starter in the weeks leading up to the 2021 season — until he wasn’t.

So, does Zappe feel like he’s fighting for the starting job this summer?

Story continues below advertisement

“Like Coach Bill said at the beginning of the offseason, everybody’s competing for a spot,” Zappe, who impressed over appearances in four games last season, said after Friday’s OTA session. “So, that’s the way I’m approaching it. Like I said earlier, I’m taking every rep like a game rep. So, trying to get better every day.”

Ultimately, this situation isn’t that complicated.

Jones looked like a potential franchise quarterback in his rookie campaign but was undermined by coaching dysfunction — and his own moments of immaturity — during a turbulent second season. He remains the most talented quarterback on the Patriots’ roster and should be given an opportunity to solidify his status as the face of the franchise.

However, Zappe’s performance last season can’t be discounted and warrants increased opportunities once training camp arrives. He probably will need to dramatically outplay Jones to win the job, but it would be unfair and flat-out wrong to say he has zero chance of becoming the starting quarterback. Jones hasn’t come close to earning Tom Brady-like immunity.

Story continues below advertisement

So, let’s see how things play out.

Featured image via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images