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Trent Brown Critical of the Patriots After Cunningham’s Departure

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New England Patriots offensive tackle Trent Brown

News broke on Tuesday that the New England Patriots had lost one of their players. Malik Cunningham signed with the Baltimore Ravens. He was leaving the practice squad in New England to join Baltimore’s 53-man roster. A comment on Instagram from Patriots offensive tackle Trent Brown following the transaction got people’s attention.

Brown sent a message to Cunningham. He seemed to be sending a message to more than just the rookie QB however. Trent Brown wrote:

“@malikc_3 (Malik Cunningham) go flourish where your talent is respected lil bradda”

Trent Brown responds on Instagram to the news of Malik Cunningham leaving the New England Patriots practice squad to sign with the Baltimore Ravens

Trent Brown may have just been wishing Cunningham the best of luck in Baltimore. However, it is impossible to ignore the second part of his message, “where your talent is respected.” Brown’s message indicates he didn’t feel Cunningham’s talent was respected in New England. Also leaves an implication that Brown disagreed with that stance by the New England Patriots.

Was Cunningham Disrespected?

The New England Patriots never gave Malik Cunningham an opportunity to start an NFL game this season. But they were the franchise that signed him after he was not selected in the 2023 NFL Draft. They exposed him to waivers on two occasions, though he went unclaimed both times. New England brought him back to the practice squad in both instances. Up until today, it certainly appeared the Patriots valued Malik Cunningham as much or more than any other NFL franchise.

One thing that may have hindered Cunningham’s development as a quarterback was the fact that New England was also having him play other positions. He was taking a significant number of reps at wide receiver in practice. He also spent time on special teams in camp. And it wasn’t until last week, prior to the Chargers game, that Cunningham was taking second team snaps in practice. Perhaps if the focus was on developing Malik Cunningham as a quarterback all along, he’d have been further along at this point.

Who is Trent Brown Upset With?

It is unclear if Brown’s comments were directed at offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien, head coach Bill Belichick, or the franchise more generally. Perhaps all of the above. What does appear clear is that Brown had a solid relationship with Cunningham, and felt New England did not respect his talent.

Trent Brown is possibly feeling disrespected himself with the New England Patriots. He got a restructured contract earlier this season, but one that still enabled him to become a free agent at season’s end. This past week the Miami Dolphins extended their pending free agent tackle, Austin Jackson. Perhaps Brown was feeling disrespected by that transaction taking place for another tackle with another franchise.

One thing is clear from Trent Brown’s Instagram message. While he may be happy for Malik Cunningham, it does not mean Trent Brown is happy.