The New England Patriots opened one spot by making two moves on Tuesday.
The organization waived rookie quarterback Malik Cunningham from the 53-man roster and released veteran defensive end Trey Flowers from the physically unable to perform list, per the NFL transaction wire.
Cunningham, 25, had been signed from the practice squad 10 days prior. The 6-foot-1, 198-pound undrafted free agent out of Louisville made his debut as the No. 2 quarterback against the Las Vegas Raiders before being inactive against the Buffalo Bills. He handled six offensive snaps, motioning from under center to out wide on a direct snap for a touchdown by running back Ezekiel Elliott. Subject to the NFL’s claiming period, Cunningham cleared waivers following a preseason spent between positions and was on a three-year deal. His exit leaves Will Grier and Bailey Zappe on the QB depth chart behind starter Mac Jones.
Flowers, 30, saw his 21-day practice window open during the initial week of October. It was scheduled to close on Wednesday. The 2015 fourth-round draft choice out of Arkansas returned to Foxborough in August following a workout and a visit. A two-time Super Bowl champion and member of the franchise’s All-Decade team, Flowers totaled 203 tackles and 26.5 sacks along with five forced fumbles and two recoveries during his regular seasons and postseasons. The 6-foot-2, 265-pound defensive lineman departed for the Detroit Lions in 2019 and finished last campaign on injured reserve with the Miami Dolphins.
Both are candidates to be retained on the practice squad, which currently stands at its capacity of 16 following recent reversions.
Wide receiver Jalen Reagor and defensive tackle Jeremiah Pharms Jr. have reached the league limit of three standard elevations. Their next appearances would require promotions.
The 2-5 Patriots visit the 5-2 Dolphins next Sunday. The AFC East kickoff at Hard Rock Stadium is set for 1 p.m. ET.