Will Grier

Eagles To Sign QB Will Grier

Will Grier is back in the NFC. After spending the 2023 campaign touring the AFC, the former Panthers draft pick is signing with the Eagles, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The quarterback is signing a one-year deal.

[RELATED: Steelers To Trade Kenny Pickett To Eagles]

Grier was a third-round pick by the Panthers back in 2019, and he garnered his only two career appearances as a rookie. Grier got two starts that season, going 0-2 while completing 53.8 percent of his passes for 228 yards, no touchdowns, and four interceptions.

He spent the 2020 campaign as the QB3 behind Teddy Bridgewater and P.J. Walker, and following Carolina’s 2021 acquisition of Sam Darnold, Grier was let go. He caught on with the Cowboys, where he’d spend a pair of seasons as the third quarterback.

Grier was waived by Dallas after the 2023 preseason, and following a brief stint on the Bengals practice squad, Grier joined New England as part of the team’s QB3 carousel. The 28-year-old spent most of the 2023 campaign with the Patriots, alternating between the practice squad and active roster. After not getting into a game with New England, he ended this past season on the Chargers active roster.

Grier will once again be competing for a QB3 spot in 2024, this time in Philly. The Eagles already brought in Kenny Pickett as the backup to Jalen Hurts, meaning Grier will likely be competing with 2023 sixth-round pick Tanner McKee for the third spot on the depth chart. Fortunately for Grier, it shouldn’t take him long to learn Philadelphia’s offense. Eagles offensive coordinator Kellen Moore previously coached Grier when the two were in Dallas.

Chargers To Sign Will Grier Off Patriots’ Practice Squad, Waive Max Duggan

In the wake of losing Justin Herbert for the season, the Chargers are set to make alterations to their quarterback depth chart. Easton Stick is in place as the starter, but a new backup option has arrived.

Los Angeles is signing Will Grier off the Patriots’ practice squad, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. In a corresponding move, he reports, the Chargers are waiving rookie Max Duggan. The latter will be retained via the practice squad if he goes unclaimed.

Grier was let go by the Cowboys during roster cutdowns, which led to a brief stint on the Bengals’ taxi squad. Jake Browning won out the competition for Cincinnati’s backup role, however, which led Grier to New England as one of several experiments under center. While New England has struggled to find consistency at the QB spot, the 28-year-old has not seen the field this season. The Patriots did not see Grier or undrafted rookie Malik Cunningham as viable starting options, and both are now out of the organization.

Grier was one of many backup/third-string passers to be waived by the Patriots earlier in the year, and he will now join the Chargers in search of potential playing time. The West Virginia product has seen regular season action only twice in his career, during his rookie campaign with the Panthers in 2019. He will look to play his way into a deal with Los Angeles or another interested team this offseason by undertaking a late-season change of scenery.

Duggan enjoyed an impressive final season in college, leading TCU to the national title game last season. His performance with the Horned Frogs only led him to be drafted in the seventh round, however, and the 22-year-old was waived during roster cutdowns. He has remained in the Chargers’ organization since, and that will remain the case presuming no teams put in a claim for him.

Stick threw three touchdowns but also had one interception and a pair of fumbles in the Chargers’ primetime blowout loss to the Raiders in his first career start. That game marked the end of head coach Brandon Staley and general manager Tom Telesco‘s tenures, and it has now prompted a new face being brought in at the QB spot.

Patriots To Start Bailey Zappe In Week 13

DECEMBER 1: Zappe will indeed make his first start of the season Sunday, Howe reports, adding Cunningham is on track to play as a specialty package performer. Cunningham made his debut against the Raiders in October, logging six snaps, but has not suited up since. It is unlikely Jones sees action, per Howe, unless circumstances change during the game (as they have often this year for the Patriots).

While the repeated Jones benchings have pointed to this happening, it will still mark a significant change. The former first-rounder has only missed three starts in his three-year career, each coming due to injury.

NOVEMBER 30: Replacing Mac Jones on several occasions this season, Bailey Zappe has not made a start in his second NFL campaign. Signs are pointing to that changing in Week 13.

The Patriots are preparing to give the record-setting college passer a start over Jones this week, The Athletic’s Jeff Howe tweets. Bill Belichick is again not planning to announce his starting quarterback, but Jones’ second-year backup took the bulk of the first-team snaps in practice Wednesday, according to MassLive.com’s Mark Daniels.

Zappe made two starts for an injured Jones last season. With the Patriots winning both those games, the Western Kentucky alum generated some momentum. But Jones did not cede his job upon returning from the high ankle sprain he sustained. As Belichick-Jones tension simmered coming out of the former first-round pick’s step-back 2022 campaign, Zappe was rumored to have a shot at the starting job. But a true competition did not materialize in camp. Jones’ game action in his third season has changed this equation.

Two years after guiding the Pats to the playoffs, Jones sits 28th in QBR. He has thrown 10 touchdown passes and 12 interceptions, two of those picks coming last week. The Alabama product is averaging just 6.1 yards per attempt, and while New England’s receiving corps resides as one of the NFL’s worst, Jones has regressed to the point he is far from a lock to be part of the 2024 Patriots.

This Zappe bump does come after multiple reports of the 2022 fourth-rounder failing to impress in practice, with issues developing in Bill O’Brien‘s system being at the root of these struggles. Zappe continued to encounter issues during in-season practices, but with Jones scuffling each week during games, he has made four second-half cameos. After completing 70.7% of his passes as a rookie, Zappe has connected on just 48.7% of his throws — albeit on just 39 tosses — this year. Zappe came to Foxborough after setting the Division I-FBS single-season touchdown pass record, throwing 62 in the Hilltoppers’ pass-heavy offense in 2021 to break Joe Burrow‘s record.

The Patriots do not have a good option here. Belichick’s team is barreling toward a top-five draft pick, sitting third in the early 2024 order after 11 games. This should be expected to produce another first-round QB investment, though Belichick may not be around to make that move. For now, this Jones-or-Zappe pattern persists. Neither rookie UDFA Malik Cunningham nor third-rounder-turned-journeyman Will Grier profile as players the team is ready to consider for starts, per ESPN.com’s Dan Graziano, though each could conceivably be an option as the Belichick era’s worst season moves toward the finish line.

Zappe, Cunningham and Grier have each been exposed to waivers this year, but no team claimed any of the New England backups. The Pats’ Matt Corral experiment fizzled early as well. This leaves Zappe as the lone viable alternative ahead of the Patriots’ matchup with the Chargers, but considering the way the team has operated at QB this season, Jones probably should not get too comfortable on the bench.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 11/28/23

Today’s practice squad moves:

Atlanta Falcons

Carolina Panthers

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Los Angeles Rams

  • Signed: CB Cameron McCutcheon
  • Released: OL Grant Miller

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

After getting cut by the Patriots this past weekend, Will Grier is back with the organization. Considering the uncertainty surrounding New England’s QB situation, there was some speculation that Grier could get a look before the end of the season, and his addition to the taxi squad leaves that door open. The former Cowboys backup started two games for the Panthers back in 2019, going winless while tossing zero touchdowns vs. four interceptions.

Patriots QB Mac Jones To Start In Week 12

NOVEMBER 26: Jones will start for the Patriots against the Giants today, as Callahan was first to report. Per Reiss, Jones and Zappe enjoyed a roughly equal split of practice reps, with Jones usually getting the first look. Callahan says that Jones outperformed his backup (though it was close), and Reiss adds that Jones’ ability to process the blitzing schemes of Giants DC Wink Martindale also gave him an advantage.

Reiss also notes that Belichick kept his decision from the team, perhaps deciding that the unknown would allow the quarterbacks to remain focused on winning the starting job. Indeed, the head coach said several times throughout the week that he told “everybody to be ready to go,” per Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network (via Kevin Patra of NFL.com).

However, Belichick’s adominition that all of his players be ready was apparently not just a motivational tactic. According to Garafolo, Zappe will likely see some action in the New York game, and there may even be something of a QB rotation.

NOVEMBER 20: When speaking publicly on the matter, offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien confirmed the Patriots’ upcoming practices will determine the starter (h/t ESPN’s Mike Reiss). While head coach Bill Belichick will have the final say on the matter, it will be interesting to see how reps are divided in the coming days as Jones looks to retain his place atop the depth chart. O’Brien, for his part, gave Jones a vote of confidence with respect to bouncing back from his underwhelming performances so far this season.

NOVEMBER 19: Quarterback Mac Jones‘ grasp on the Patriots’ starting job is tenuous at best. Well into a second straight year of regression, Jones was benched at a crucial moment last week and now sees his future very much in question. After a Week 11 bye, the team has reportedly not made a decision on whom will start under center against the Giants next week, but for now, Jones has continued taking starting reps at practice, according to Jeff Howe of The Athletic.

While faith in Jones’ ability to lead the team was already waning, it’s been reported that “at least 80 percent of the Patriots’ locker room is out on Jones,” per Andrew Callahan of the Boston Herald. The lack of faith in Jones is reportedly rampant on both sides of the ball with a belief that Jones’ consistent mistakes tend to “negate the best efforts of his teammates.”

Callahan notes that, in addition to ranking second in the league for interceptions and leading the league with three pick sixes, Pro Football Focus has Jones leading the league in turnover-worthy plays. He is also on track to post “career worsts in passer rating, touchdown percentage, interception percentage, and yards per attempt.”

It’s not hard to decipher who would be taking Jones’ starting job, should he lose it. When Jones was benched last week, it was second-year passer Bailey Zappe whom the Patriots asked to step up with the game on the line.

The Western Kentucky alum started two games in his rookie year after Jones and primary backup Brian Hoyer both sustained injuries. He won both starts, and in four games in which he saw serious action, Zappe completed 71 percent of his passes for 781 yards while tossing five touchdowns to three interceptions, adding a score on the ground, as well. Zappe’s appearances this year haven’t been nearly as impressive, but they’ve come in two garbage time situations and one attempt at a game-winning drive.

The decision seems to boil down to Jones vs. Zappe, according to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, as third-string quarterback Will Grier is expected to stay just that. “When you’re new and haven’t been here in training camp and had the full background of OTAs and a chance to run our core plays, it’s a lot to catch up on,” head coach Bill Belichick said on the Patriots All-Access television show. “Will has done a good job of it. There’s no issues with him. It’s just there’s only so many snaps out there.”

With that being said, Jones and Zappe have got some work to do. Even in a season that seems to be circling the drain with injuries, the Giants refused to roll over this week in a divisional matchup in DC, handing a shocking defeat to the Commanders. A decision on whom Big Blue will face at quarterback next week has not yet been made. For now, it looks like Jones, but it doesn’t sound like a situation that’s set in stone.

Patriots Waive QB Will Grier

The Patriots’ backup QB carousel continues. The team is waiving quarterback Will Grier, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The move clears a spot for p-squad offensive lineman Conor McDermott to join the 53-man roster, per Doug Kyed of the Boston Herald.

[RELATED: Patriots Undecided On Week 12 QB Starter]

While Mac Jones has started every game for the Patriots this season, the depth chart behind him has seen plenty of reshuffling. Projected backup (and potential QB1 fill-in) Bailey Zappe was bounced from the roster after the preseason, only to later rejoin the active roster via the practice squad. Former third-round pick Matt Corral was also briefly on the team before eventually earning his walking papers.

The Patriots then pivoted to Grier as a potential backup option. Grier most recently served as one of Dak Prescott‘s backups in Dallas, but following the Cowboys’ acquisition of Trey Lance, the 2019 third-round pick was cut loose. After a brief stint on the Bengals practice squad, Grier was added to New England’s 53-man roster back in late September.

Grier hasn’t seen the field at all this season, and even with the Patriots’ uncertain QB situation, it was unlikely he was going to earn a promotion from his QB3 role. Coach Bill Belichick admitted as much during a recent appearance on Patriots All-Access.

“When you’re new and haven’t been here in training camp and had the full background of OTAs and a chance to run our core plays, it’s a lot to catch up on,” Belichick said. “Will has done a good job of it. There’s no issues with him. It’s just there’s only so many snaps out there.”

With Grier no longer on the roster, Malik Cunningham could be in line for snaps if the Patriots pivot from both Jones and Zappe. The UDFA out of Louisville has spent much of the season working with the Patriots receivers, although the organization hasn’t completely shut the door on his QB abilities. For what it’s worth, the rookie did tell Kyed that he’s not part of the team’s plans at quarterback tomorrow against the Giants.

So, as expected, that leaves Jones and Zappe as the candidates to start Week 12. The Patriots still haven’t announced who will start the game, but with Jones having reportedly lost “at least 80 percent of the Patriots’ locker room,” there seems to be some real momentum towards Zappe earning his first start of the season. The 2022 fourth-round pick showed some flashes as a rookie, but the Patriots have been reluctant to turn to the second-year pro in 2023.

That lack of faith could be because of Zappe’s underwhelming performances at practice. As Kyed writes, the second-year pro has struggled under new offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien, and Jones has been the superior QB every step of the way. While that’s obviously not saying a whole lot, the Patriots may be struggling to justify a Zappe promotion.

Patriots QB Mac Jones On Short Leash

OCTOBER 15: Ian Rapoport of NFL.com confirms that Jones is indeed on a short leash, and that if he should struggle in the first few series of today’s game against the Raiders, Belichick could pull the plug and insert another quarterback.

Who that quarterback would be, however, is unclear. Greg Bedard of the Boston Sports Journal recently told 98.5 The Sports Hub (as relayed by Karen Guregian of MassLive Sports) that Grier would likely be the next man up if Jones is benched. While Rapoport does not go that far, he does say that Grier and Zappe split reps in practice this week and that, despite Grier’s current status as QB3, the former third-round pick of the Panthers could be the one to get the nod.

It is also worth noting, as Mike Reiss of ESPN.com writes, that Cunningham received increased quarterback reps in practice this week after spending the majority of his pro career to date working on his transition to wideout. That surely does not mean that he would be called upon to replace Jones, but O’Brien believes Cunningham — who was just signed to the active roster — is one of the Pats’ most improved p-squad players. Rapoport adds that the club does have a package installed for the versatile weapon.

OCTOBER 12: Mac Jones and the Patriots offense has struggled mightily this season, especially over the past two weeks. The third-year quarterback has tossed four interceptions, lost a pair of fumbles, and earned two benchings in those two contests, with the offense failing to find the end zone in either of those two losses.

Many have started to question if Jones will continue as the QB1 for the Patriots. While it doesn’t sound like the leash is very long, the Patriots coaching staff made it clear this week that the former first-round pick will be under center this weekend against the Raiders. Coach Bill Belichick told reporters that the team won’t be “making any changes” (via NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport), while offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien said he expects Jones in the lineup on Sunday.

“It’s not about one guy,” O’Brien said when asked about Jones’ struggles (via ESPN’s Mike Reiss). “He’d be the first to tell you that there’s things that he has to do better, whether it’s obviously take care of the ball, maybe read the route better, or get us into a better play. But it’s a collective effort.”

While Jones is expected to stay in the starting lineup, it sounds like the team is prepared to make a change if needed. Jeff Howe of The Athletic tweets that this will be an important week of practice for the starter, and the Patriots will continue to “evaluate every position on the roster.” Following New England’s Week 5 loss to the Saints, Belichick acknowledged that the team was “starting over,” an indication that everyone’s spot on the depth chart would be reconsidered.

Part of the reason the Patriots haven’t already pivoted away from Jones is because of their lack of faith in the organization’s other QBs. As Andrew Callahan and Doug Kyed of the Boston Herald write, 2022 fourth-round pick Bailey Zappe has struggled during his second season in the NFL. A source told the Herald that Zappe had a “rough transition to the new offense” under O’Brien, and that ultimately led to the team cutting the quarterback at the end of the preseason.

The other 31 teams passed on Zappe, and he ultimately landed back on the Patriots’ active roster (following a quick stop on the practice squad). The team has since shuffled through multiple options at QB3. Will Grier is the current third option at the position, but even Belichick recently noted how difficult it is for players to climb the depth chart during the season. While rookie Malik Cunningham intrigued during the preseason, the Patriots seem committed to the player’s transition to wide receiver. The lack of alternative options explains why Jones will continue as the starter.

Following a successful rookie season, it’s surprising that the Alabama has taken such a significant step back over the past year-plus. According to the Herald duo, much of the blame has been placed on the organization, as Jones has shuffled through three offensive coordinators, an inconsistent and injury-plagued offensive line, and an underwhelming receivers corps.

However, sources also noted that Jones hasn’t done anything to help his case. The quarterback’s tape is “littered with inexcusable errors,” and while the lack of protection and weapons hasn’t helped, Jones is still making fundamental mistakes. In fact, according to the Herald, some in the organization recognized that Jones wasn’t the guy following the 2022 campaign, but the Patriots hoped the QB wouldn’t be bad enough to sabotage their chances.

“We know Mac isn’t going to win for us. He needs to be comfortable,” a team source told the Herald this summer. “But we think we can win with him. We’ll see.”

The team hasn’t done much winning this season, with their lone victory coming against the Jets. Jones will get another chance at redemption this weekend, but it’s uncertain how much longer he’ll stick atop the depth chart if the offense continues to struggle.

Patriots Sign QB Will Grier To Active Roster

The Patriots QB3 saga has taken another turn. New England is signing quarterback Will Grier to the active roster, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

[RELATED: Patriots Not Adding Matt Corral To Practice Squad]

The Patriots reshuffled their QB depth chart following roster deadline day. Bailey Zappe was cut from the active roster and eventually landed on the practice squad, and the team appeared to fill the QB2 spot with 2022 third-round pick Matt Corral, who was claimed off waivers from the Panthers. Zappe eventually rejoined the active roster, and Corral was later placed on the exempt/left squad list after he no-showed practice, walkthrough, and team meetings.

Corral was eventually released by the team, but subsequent reports indicated that he was going to join New England’s practice squad. That move didn’t end up coming to fruition, leaving Corral’s future with the organization in doubt.

Corral’s status with the Patriots is now even more in doubt following today’s sudden move. Grier was also a former Panthers draft pick, with the West Virginia product being selected in the third round of the 2019 draft. He was winless in his two starts as a rookie and was demoted to QB3 during his sophomore season. He was later waived and claimed by the Cowboys, and he proceeded to spend the next two years serving as one of Dak Prescott‘s backups.

Following the Cowboys’ acquisition of Trey Lance, Grier was cut loose, but not before he accounted for four total touchdowns during Dallas’ preseason finale. Grier later joined the Bengals practice squad before getting snatched by New England today.

It’s notable that the Patriots are suddenly comfortable rostering three QBs in Mac Jones, Zappe, and now Grier. There’s a chance the former Cowboys backup ends up following a similar path as Corral and ultimately lands on New England’s practice squad. In a potential noncoincidence, the Patriots are set to face off against the Cowboys in Week 4.

Will Grier Will Compete For Bengals’ Backup QB Job

The Bengals recently signed quarterback Will Grier to their practice squad, and Jake Browning is the only signal-caller other than Joe Burrow on the 53-man roster. Nonetheless, Grier will have an opportunity to unseat Browning as Burrow’s backup, according to Jay Morrison of Pro Football Network.

Grier, a third-round pick of the Panthers in 2019, entered training camp as a member of the Cowboys and was vying for a spot on the club’s QB depth chart alongside Dak Prescott and Cooper Rush. But when Dallas swung a trade for Trey Lance mere hours before its preseason finale against the Raiders, it was clear that Grier would soon be cut.

Knowing that he was now auditioning exclusively for other teams, Grier took every snap of that third and final preseason contest. He threw for 305 yards, rushed for 53 yards, and accounted for four total touchdowns (two throwing and two on the ground). Cowboys owner Jerry Jones called it the best preseason performance he had seen since 1999, and it caught the attention of the rest of the league.

As Morrison writes, Grier fielded mutliple phone calls after Dallas officially released him, but Grier ultimately felt Cincinnati represented the best fit.

“A big part for me was being on a good, competitive team, somebody that had talent and was a Super Bowl contender, which clearly this place is,” Grier said. “That was a big part of the decision.”

The fact that Grier has a real chance to become the QB2 doubtlessly influenced his decision to sign with the Bengals as well. Browning, who signed with the Vikings as an undrafted free agent in 2019, has never thrown a regular season pass, and while he has spent the past two years in Cincinnati, much of that time has come on the taxi squad. He did beat out Trevor Siemian for the backup quarterback gig this summer, but he did not necessarily dazzle the coaching staff with his performance, and we heard towards the end of last month that the Bengals could be looking to supplement their QB room.

They did just that with the Grier acquisition. It is true that Grier does not have substantially more regular season experience than Browning; the former West Virginia standout has played in just two regular season games, and they were the final two contests of the 2019 campaign, when a dismal Panthers squad was playing out the string. Grier started and lost both games, completing just 53.8% of his passes while throwing four interceptions and no touchdowns.

Still, the Bengals (among other teams) saw something they liked, and Grier, who believes he is playing the best football of his career, will get his shot to back up one of the league’s best QBs.

Wednesday NFL Transactions: AFC North

Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline Tuesday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters. In addition to waiver claims, teams can begin constructing their 16-man practice squads today. These BengalsBrownsRavens and Steelers moves are noted below.

Cincinnati Bengals



Signed to practice squad:

Baltimore Ravens



Signed to practice squad:

Cleveland Browns


Placed on IR:


Signed to practice squad:

Pittsburgh Steelers




Signed to practice squad: