Matt Corral

Matt Corral Signs With UFL’s Birmingham Stallions

The start of Matt Corral‘s professional football career has not gone according to plan. Though he was a third-round choice in 2022, Corral has yet to play in a regular season contest in the NFL, and he recently signed with the United Football League’s Birmingham Stallions (as relayed by Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk).

Corral was selected by the Matt Rhule-era Panthers, and given the team’s quarterback difficulties in 2022, he likely would have had the opportunity to take regular season snaps at some point. Unfortunately, a preseason Lisfranc injury ended his rookie campaign before it started.

Rhule, of course, was fired in the middle of the 2022 season, and Carolina named Frank Reich its permanent head coach last January before signing veteran QB Andy Dalton in free agency and drafting Bryce Young with the No. 1 overall pick. Corral saw significant action in each of the Panthers’ three preseason games in 2023, and while Reich was reportedly pleased with Corral’s progress, the Ole Miss product was waived at the end of the preseason slate.

The club was interested in retaining Corral via a practice squad deal if he cleared waivers, but the Patriots swooped in with a waiver claim. While Corral’s availability was enough for New England to eschew its previous plans to add a veteran passer to round out the depth chart, something went awry. Corral missed multiple practices leading up to Week 1 and was absent from team meetings, which led to his placement on the exempt/left squad list, and he was subsequently waived from that list. After he cleared waivers, it appeared he would join the Pats’ taxi squad, but that never came to fruition. That was the last we had heard of Corral before the UFL announced he was joining the Stallions.

The UFL, which is the product of the recent USFL-XFL merger, will begin play next month. The Stallions won the USFL championship in 2023 and seem poised to give Corral an opportunity to showcase his talents as he (presumably) seeks to return to the sport’s highest level. If the 25-year-old should impress, it is possible that he will pique the interest of NFL teams, especially given his draft pedigree (even if the 2022 class of collegiate signal-callers was a weak one).

Birmingham is also rostering Adrian Martinez, who played quarterback for Nebraska and Kansas State before signing with the Lions as a UDFA last April. He was waived before the start of the regular season. 2020 UDFAs J’Mar Smith and Jalen Morton are the other two players on the Stallions’ QB depth chart, so Corral certainly appears to have the edge for the starting quarterback job.

Patriots Not Adding Matt Corral To Practice Squad; Team Adjusts Trent Brown’s Contract

6:47pm: Some may notice Corral’s presence on the wire today designating that he was taking a visit with his now former team in New England. According to Kyed, this is solely a formality. Kyed informs that “teams are required to report if a free agent is in the building” and Corral was at the facility this morning. His visit, though, had no bearing on his status with the team. Kyed reports that Corral’s relationship with the team is currently unchanged.

11:27am: After Matt Corral cleared waivers Tuesday, the Patriots were believed to have added the young quarterback to their practice squad. While this would mark yet another roster designation for the 2022 third-round pick, it has not come to fruition.

Corral has not returned to the Pats on a practice squad deal, Doug Kyed of the Boston Herald notes. While the Ole Miss product was on track to come back on a P-squad pact, Kyed adds he is no longer expected to do so.

The Pats claimed Corral off waivers from the Panthers shortly after roster cutdown day, and while the raw QB prospect practiced with the team for more than a week, he left the team without providing notice and ended up on the exempt/left squad list. The Patriots removed Corral from that list Monday, and no team claimed him. As of now, the Matt Rhule-era Panthers pickup’s career is in limbo.

Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe reside as the quarterbacks on New England’s active roster, while rookie UDFA Malik Cunningham is on the team’s P-squad. Teams rarely keep two passers on practice squads, but the Pats had intended to develop Corral, who spent all of last season on the Panthers’ IR due to a Lisfranc injury. While Carolina was interested in bringing Corral back on a P-squad deal, he is unattached as of Wednesday.

The Patriots briefly demoted Zappe, waiving the 2022 fourth-round pick before extending a P-squad opportunity. Zappe quickly moved back to the active roster, returning after the Corral partnership began to fizzle. Upon returning to the active roster, the Western Kentucky product remains signed through 2025, Mike Reiss of tweets. Zappe’s rookie contract ran through 2025, as all drafted players’ initial NFL deals span four years. Despite Zappe spending a short time on the practice squad after struggling in Bill O’Brien‘s system this summer, he is back on track.

Additionally, the Patriots added $2MM in incentives to Trent Brown‘s contract,’s Adam Schefter notes. Brown is attached to a two-year, $13MM deal he signed during the 2022 offseason. It is unclear what benchmarks Brown must hit to cash in, but the Patriots have dangled incentives for the veteran tackle previously. The team put weight-related clauses in Brown’s Raiders-constructed, Pats-adjusted deal in 2021 and included more in his current pact. Barring an extension, the team’s left tackle starter remains on track to hit free agency again in 2024.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/19/23

Today’s practice squad transactions:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

  • Signed: LB Milo Eiler

Carolina Panthers

Detroit Lions

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

Philadelphia Eagles

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

According to Doug Kyed of the Boston Herald, Matt Corral has landed back with the Patriots after going unclaimed on waivers. It’s been a busy few months for Corral, who has bounced on and off the Panthers and Patriots rosters. He’ll now return to New England as the organization’s third QB behind Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe.

Eric Rowe didn’t last all that long in Carolina after landing on the team’s practice squad in late August. The veteran defensive back spent the past four seasons in Miami, starting 39 of his 63 appearances. He’ll be replaced by Matthias Farley, who brings 100 games of experience to the Panthers. The safety has bounced around the league recently but didn’t miss a game between 2020 and 2022.

It took Mykal Walker a few weeks to find a new gig after getting cut by the Bears on roster deadline day. The former fourth-round pick spent the first three seasons of his career with the Falcons, including a 2022 campaign where he finished with 107 tackles. He was surprisingly waived by Atlanta in mid-August before getting scooped up by Chicago. Now, he’ll have a chance to revive his career in Las Vegas.

Patriots Cut QBs Matt Corral, Ian Book

SEPTEMBER 19: Corral has spent time on the Panthers’ offseason roster, Carolina’s IR list, along with the Patriots’ 53 and New England’s exempt/left squad list. After his second stay on waivers, the 2022 third-round pick is now a first-time free agent. No one claimed Corral by Tuesday afternoon’s deadline,’s Tom Pelissero tweets.

SEPTEMBER 18: The Patriots’ flier on Matt Corral produced an early speedbump, with the former third-round pick being placed on the exempt/left squad list. Days later, Corral is no longer with the team.

New England waived Corral from the exempt/left squad list and also released Ian Book from its practice squad. Book landed on the Pats’ P-squad last week, after he had worked out for multiple teams.

Corral missed multiple Pats practices leading up to Week 1 and was absent from team meetings. The Patriots could circle back to Corral as a practice squad addition, assuming he clears waivers, but it is not known if the Ole Miss alum is in the team’s plans any longer. It will be interesting to see if the Panthers pick up Corral for their P-squad. Frank Reich indicated the team was interested in adding him to its taxi squad following the late-August cut. Two weeks ago, Bill Belichick called Corral a “good, young developing player,” but the Pats — for the time being, at least — have moved on.

Three seasons remain on Corral’s rookie contract, but last year’s No. 94 overall pick is trending downward despite having recovered from the Lisfranc injury that ended his rookie year before it started. Trade rumors emerged early this offseason, and the team then signed Andy Dalton and traded up for the No. 1 overall pick, which became Bryce Young. The Panthers have only Young and Dalton on their active roster; they are not carrying a QB on their practice squad.

Viewed as a raw prospect, Corral generated buzz to be drafted much higher than 94th. On what became a tough night for Corral, Desmond Ridder and Malik Willis, the Panthers traded a 2023 third-round pick to move up (via the Patriots) to No. 94. The Pats hired ex-Panthers player personnel director Pat Stewart this offseason, and while that undoubtedly helped lead to the team claiming Corral on waivers, the second-year passer is back on the wire.

Bailey Zappe sits behind Mac Jones on New England’s 53-man roster, and rookie UDFA Malik Cunningham resides on the practice squad. The team could be on the lookout for a new option. The Pats had checked on Colt McCoy and discussed Case Keenum with the Texans recently.

Patriots Place CB Jack Jones On IR, QB Matt Corral On Exempt/Left Squad

SEPTEMBER 10: Howe reports that Corral was absent from the Patriots’ facility on Friday and Saturday, meaning he missed out on practice, walkthrough and team meetings in advance of today’s contest. He adds New England is still determining Corral’s future with the organization. Given the left squad designation, the team will have time to sort out its next move. Kyed adds, meanwhile, that the Patriots never seemed to be contemplating waiving Corral, despite the report from earlier on Saturday that they were doing so. This situation will remain worth watching until further clarity emerges.

SEPTEMBER 9: Patriots second-year cornerback Jack Jones suffered a hamstring injury on Wednesday at practice that immediately put his game status in doubt for tomorrow’s season opener, according to Jeff Howe of The Athletic. After confirming that Jones wouldn’t be available in Week 1, Howe speculated that a multi-week absence could be in the cards for the young defender. Well, Mike Reiss of ESPN was able to confirm today that Jones has been placed on injured reserve, guaranteeing he will miss at least the first four games of the 2023 season.

The loss of Jones certainly hurts the quality of the team’s cornerback depth, but overall, the Patriots still look strong at the position. With rookie first-round pick Christian Gonzalez joining veteran Jonathan Jones in the starting lineup, New England should be set up well for Week 1. The team also has Marcus Jones and Jalen Mills providing depth behind the starters.

The Patriots’ transaction announcement also disclosed that they are placing quarterback Matt Corral on the exempt/left squad list. According to Doug Kyed of the Boston Herald, Corral reportedly left the team without notice. This makes Corral’s “not injury related” appearance on the practice injury report this week make a bit more sense. Tom Pelissero of NFL Network explained that going this route immediately clears a roster spot for New England without the need to place Corral on waivers.

The Patriots filled one of the open two roster spots by signing practice squad quarterback Bailey Zappe to the active roster. Last year’s fourth-round pick out of Western Kentucky will now be the primary backup behind starting quarterback Mac Jones despite being released during final roster cuts back in August.

To fill the other roster spot, the team signed practice squad running back Ty Montgomery to the active roster, as well. Montgomery will provide depth and variety off the bench behind Rhamondre Stevenson and Ezekiel Elliott. While both Stevenson and Elliott have shown an ability to receive out of the backfield at some point in their careers, Montgomery clearly has an edge at that ability after converting from wide receiver after his rookie year.

Finally, the team will reportedly only be using one of their two allowed practice squad promotions for tomorrow. Veteran linebacker/special teamer Calvin Munson will get the call up for the season opener against the Eagles.

Patriots Sign QB Bailey Zappe To Active Roster, Release QB Matt Corral

The Patriots made one of the more surprising moves on roster deadline day when they cut 2022 fourth-round pick Bailey Zappe. The QB eventually landed on New England’s practice squad, and it sounds like he’s now back where he started.

[RELATED: Bill Belichick Addresses Patriots’ Decision To Waive Bailey Zappe]

According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the Patriots have signed Zappe to their active roster. This is not a standard practice squad elevation, which was the route the organization was expected to take with the backup quarterback. Instead, the Patriots are giving Zappe his spot back on the 53-man roster.

In a corresponding move, the team has waived quarterback Matt Corral, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). The 2022 third-round pick took Zappe’s spot on the roster following roster deadline day.

After moving on from Zappe and undrafted free agent Malik Cunningham, the Patriots were left with Mac Jones as the only quarterback on the active roster. The Patriots later revealed some of their logic when they claimed Corral, a former Panthers draftee, off waivers.

The Corral acquisition was certainly an indictment on Zappe, but it seemed like the incumbent still had a firm hold on the QB2 role despite sitting on the practice squad. After all, Zappe has a year of familiarity with the organization, even if the team did hire Bill O’Brien as their new offensive coordinator this offseason.

Corral would have only had a week-plus to learn New England’s system, making it unlikely that the 2022 third-round pick would be counted on to immediately serve as Jones’ backup. Further, the Ole Miss product missed his entire rookie season due to a Lisfranc injury, so the QB was also expected to be brought along slowly during the 2023 campaign.

Indeed, the quarterback didn’t have enough time to catch up, leading to him sacrificing his roster spot today. Per ESPN’s Mike Reiss, the first indication of a QB2 change came at practice yesterday when Corral was absent. The Patriots could be counting on Corral passing through waivers and landing back on their practice squad, although that’s just speculation on my part. Joe Person of The Athletic notes that Panthers GM Scott Fitterer previously expressed interest in bringing Corral back to the practice squad.

Zappe added some intrigue to the Patriots’ quarterbacks room last season. With Jones and New England’s offense struggling, Zappe didn’t look completely lost during his two starts. He won both of those appearances, and in four games, he finished with 781 passing yards, five touchdowns, and three interceptions while completing 70.7 percent of his passes.

However, the Patriots’ hiring of O’Brien seemed to be a vote of confidence for Jones heading into the 2023 campaign. We learned recently that the coordinator’s offense specifically caters to Jones’ strengths, and that system doesn’t necessarily fit Zappe’s playing style. There was also some speculation that former offensive coordinators Matt Patricia and Joe Judge let Zappe run a similar-style offense to what he ran in college, perhaps explaining some of his rookie success.

Patriots Looked Into Trade For Texans QB Case Keenum

As the Patriots made the surprising decision to waive Bailey Zappe, they spent a multi-day period with one active-roster quarterback. With versatile UDFA Malik Cunningham also cut, Mac Jones resided alone on the depth chart until the Matt Corral pickup.

While the Pats have Corral positioned behind Jones (technically), Zappe remains in the mix to be the backup. But the team had also targeted a more experienced option to help mentor its third-year starter. In addition to Colt McCoy being on the Patriots’ radar,’s Albert Breer notes the team looked into acquiring Case Keenum from the Texans.

The Texans brought Keenum back to Houston, after the ex-Cougars standout embarked on a journeyman career upon leaving his original NFL team in 2015, on a two-year deal worth $6.25MM ($4MM guaranteed). This looked to be a sign GM Nick Caserio, who hired a third coaching staff in three years, would look to move two-year starter Davis Mills. But Mills, despite multiple rounds of trade rumors, remains in Houston as C.J. Stroud‘s backup. Keenum sits as the team’s third-stringer.

A report last week indicated the Texans’ backups were generating trade interest, and with the Pats targeting a veteran and Caserio having spent nearly 20 years with the franchise, the dots certainly connect here.

Keenum, 35, has completed a four-time zone journey by stopping through St. Louis, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Denver, Washington, Cleveland and Buffalo since 2015. While Keenum’s post-Vikings career effectively made his 2017 season — which featured a No. 1 QB DVOA ranking, a 13-3 Vikes record and an NFC championship game berth — an outlier, the former UDFA has remained coveted as a backup. Keenum quarterbacked the Browns to two wins during the 2021 season; those two starts ran his career total to 64.

Once Corral became available, however, Breer adds the Patriots regrouped and scrapped their previous plan of a veteran QB2. Patriots senior personnel advisor Pat Stewart, an offseason hire, was with the Panthers as their VP of player personnel from 2020-22. That tenure included the Panthers’ trade-up with the Patriots for Corral, a raw prospect out of Ole Miss. The Pats had explored Corral via trade as well, per Breer, who adds Bill O’Brien‘s good relationship with Ole Miss HC Lane Kiffin also led to the decision to submit the claim.

Three years remain on Corral’s rookie contract; he missed all of last season with a Lisfranc injury. It will be interesting to see if the second-year passer’s form prompts the Patriots to circle back to their interest in a veteran backup before the Halloween trade deadline. After Brian Hoyer went down last season, Bill Belichick stuck with Zappe. But the former record-setting Western Kentucky QB struggled in O’Brien’s offense this year. For now, Zappe represents the most logical Jones backup to start the season. But this situation is clearly not settled entering the year.

Bill Belichick Addresses Patriots’ Decision To Waive Bailey Zappe, Claim Matt Corral

The Patriots were busy reshaping their quarterback depth chart last week, including the surprising decision to waive 2022 fourth-rounder Bailey Zappe. The risk paid off and Zappe was retained via the practice squad, but he has new competition for the backup QB role.

New England claimed former Panthers draftee Matt Corral off waivers, filling the vacancy at the position on the team’s active roster. Given the lack of time Corral has had to acclimate to the Patriots’ offense, however, questions have been raised about his readiness to dress as the backup for Week 1. When speaking publicly on the matter, head coach Bill Belichick confirmed that no decision has been made yet on that front.

“All roster decisions are based on what we feel like’s best for our football team,” Belichick said, via Doug Kyed of the Boston Herald. “There’s a number of things involved there. But glad to have Bailey to continue to work with him. Still think he’s a good, young, developing player, and so we’ll keep working with him.”

Zappe made a pair of starts in place of an injured Mac Jones last season, and his play (along with perceived tension between Belichick and the latter) led to speculation about a potential QB competition in the summer. Instead, Zappe struggled this offseason while adapting to new offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien‘s system, one which is catered to Jones’ strengths. Belichick’s remarks confirm Zappe is still in the team’s long-term plans, however.

As for Corral, little can be said with certainty given his lack of playing time. The Ole Miss product missed his entire rookie season due to a Lisfranc injury, and he has yet to make a regular season appearance as a result. Corral was in Carolina’s plans, but they will move forward with first overall pick Bryce Young and veteran Andy Dalton under center.

“We’ll take a look at him and see how it goes,” Belichick added during a WEEI appearance (via Kyed’s colleague Andrew Callahan). “[Corral] had a very good career at Mississippi, and hasn’t really had a lot of chances to do much in the last two years; was injured and missed some time. But [he] had a good preseason, so we’ll see how it goes. Look forward to working with him.”

Belichick added praise for Jones, who is entering a critical third year as the team’s starter. A healthy and productive season as the No. 1 would make much of the Corral-Zappe situation a moot point, but each of the latter two passers will have plenty to prove over the course of the 2023 campaign as well.

Latest On Bailey Zappe, Patriots QB2 Situation

When the Patriots’ 2022 season ended unceremoniously, some pundits wondered if 2022 fourth-round quarterback Bailey Zappe could battle 2021 first-round pick Mac Jones for the starting gig. Now, heading into the regular season, it’s uncertain if Zappe is even set to be New England’s QB2.

[RELATED: Patriots Claim QB Matt Corral]

Zappe was a surprise cut by the Patriots on deadline day, but he ended up landing back with the practice squad. The team has since added former third-round pick Matt Corral to the mix, muddying the QB picture behind Jones. As Albert Breer of writes, Zappe’s preseason struggles and apparent misfit with Bill O’Brien‘s new offense ultimately led to the quarterback’s placement on the practice squad.

For all their warts, Matt Patricia and Joe Judge actually helped Zappe become acclimated to the NFL by having him play in an offense that resembled his collegiate system from Western Kentucky. The rookie won both of his two starts last season, completing 70.7 percent of his passes for 781 yards, five touchdowns, and three interceptions. Jones, meanwhile, played to a 6-8 record while completing 65.2 percent of his passes for 14 touchdowns vs. 11 interceptions.

Zappe seemed prime to push Jones for the starting job in 2023. However, as Breer notes, O’Brien’s new offense better leverages the starter’s strengths, and that system doesn’t necessarily fit Zappe’s play style. The second-year QB proceeded to struggle during the preseason, and with a handful of roster-worthy players eligible for IR, the Patriots succeeded in sneaking him through waivers and signing him to the taxi squad (the team took a similar path with UDFA Malik Cunningham, who impressed during the preseason at both quarterback and wide receiver).

New England’s recent waiver wire claim of Corral doesn’t necessarily mean that Zappe has been demoted to QB3, however. Doug Kyed of the Boston Herald believes Zappe will be the QB2 (via practice squad elevation) to begin the season. The incumbent backup already has a head start on understanding the offense (even if it doesn’t fit his strengths), and the organization would only had around two weeks to catch their newcomer up to speed. Both Zappe and Corral will likely battle it out in practice to determine who’d be the replacement in the event of a Jones injury.

Patriots Claim QB Matt Corral

The Panthers had expressed interest in bringing Matt Corral back via a practice squad invite, but they took a risk by waiving the former third-round pick. The Patriots will prevent a quick Carolina-Corral reunion from taking place.

New England put in a successful waiver claim for Corral on Thursday, Ian Rapoport of tweets. Corral will join an interestingly constructed quarterback room. The Pats now have two QBs on their active roster — Corral and Mac Jones — and two more on their practice squad (Bailey Zappe, Malik Cunningham).

Although the Pats had been connected to wanting a veteran — perhaps Colt McCoy — to be Jones’ backup, Corral is now in that position. Considering Corral missed all of his rookie season and was viewed as a developmental player after last year’s draft, the Ole Miss product might not be New England’s true QB2 in Week 1. But the Pats thought enough of him to use a roster spot via this claim.

Corral spent all of last season on Carolina’s IR, suffering a Lisfranc injury during the preseason. He underwent surgery, but upon recovering, the Panthers had revamped their QB room. Carolina gave up plenty of assets to move from No. 9 to No. 1, via the Bears, for Bryce Young. The team gave Andy Dalton a two-year deal, featuring the largest QB2 guarantee this offseason ($8MM), to mentor the young prospect. Frank Reich spoke highly of Corral’s development, as he aimed to keep him on the taxi squad, but the second-year passer will pack his bags for Foxborough.

The Patriots were the team that allowed the Panthers to move up for Corral in last year’s third round, collecting an additional third-rounder (in 2023) to give up 2022’s No. 94 overall pick. The Carolina selection became No. 76 this year, and the Patriots took promising defender Marte Mapu. Corral also suffered his foot injury during a preseason game at Gillette Stadium last August.

Corral was the last of the third-round QBs chosen last year. He, Desmond Ridder and Malik Willis generated buzz about going much higher than they did, but the draft hit a signal-caller lull after Kenny Pickett went off the board at No. 20. Corral was developing behind Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold when he went down. With P.J. Walker also on the Browns’ practice squad, all four of the Panthers’ QBs from last season are now elsewhere.

New England now has two QBs from the 2022 draft in the mix, though Zappe’s stock has fallen a bit since he generated buzz about competing with Jones. While Corral’s 2021 stats did not measure up to Zappe’s record-setting Western Kentucky numbers, he excelled in the SEC. He averaged 10.2 yards per attempt in 2020, targeting the likes of Elijah Moore and Jonathan Mingo, and posted a 20-5 TD-INT ratio in 2021. Three years remain on the 24-year-old passer’s rookie contract; he is due an $870K base salary this season.