Bailey Zappe enters his third NFL season at a crossroads with the New England Patriots.

Zappe won his only two starts as a rookie before stepping in for Mac Jones over the final six games of the 2023 season. The results have been mixed as Zappe has not truly elevated the Patriots.

With New England ready to reevaluate the quarterback position with cap space and a high draft pick, does Zappe have a future with the Patriots?

The short answer? Not as a starter.

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New England needs to clean house from the quarterback room that produced the league’s lowest scoring offense in 2023 (13.9 points per game). While the Patriots would benefit the most from finding an entire new set of quarterbacks, likely by drafting the starter and signing a veteran backup in free agency, the team would not hurt to keep Zappe, just further down the depth chart.

In a backup role, Zappe can occasionally keep the team afloat and give the players around him a chance to go win a game. After a 2-0 mark in 2022, Zappe helped the Patriots win a pair of December road games in 2023 against the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Denver Broncos, operating with poise and taking shots off of the run game.

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What takes Zappe out of the running for any starting job in the future is his ability to consistently push the ball downfield and stay out of dangerous plays. Zappe got sacked 25 games with nine interceptions in 10 games last season, including a game-sealing interception in Germany against the Indianapolis Colts.

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Ultimately, that’s Zappe’s ceiling. He can stabilize for short-term fills, though the Patriots would be wise to find new candidates, particularly with that No. 3 overall pick, to compete for the starting job in 2024.

As the Patriots embark on their search for their next franchise quarterback, Zappe’s chances of being in the running are low.

Featured image via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images