New England Patriots re-sign Canadian QB Nathan Rourke

Courtesy: New England Patriots/Eric J. Adler

The New England Patriots have re-signed Canadian quarterback Nathan Rourke, sources have confirmed to 3DownNation. The news was first reported by NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero.

Rourke was scheduled to become an exclusive rights free agent on March 13 meaning the Patriots needed only to extend a one-year qualifying offer at league minimum to retain him for 2024. For a player with one accrued season, it amounts to a contract worth $915,000 USD.

The 25-year-old was claimed off waivers by New England on December 18 last season after he was waived by the Jacksonville Jaguars, dressing for the final three games. He was promoted to be the team’s primary backup in the regular-season finale, but did not see game action. Though he did earn $519,668 USD in his first NFL season.

Rourke signed with the Jaguars last offseason after an extensive NFL workout tour. During three preseason games with Jacksonville, he completed 65.7 percent of his passes for 348 yards with one touchdown and zero interceptions while rushing 14 times for 39 yards and one touchdown. The Canadian pivot was waived following training camp but landed on the team’s practice roster, twice earning elevation to the active roster for three games total with the Jags.

During the 2022 CFL season, Rourke completed 78.7 percent of his passes for 3,349 yards with 25 touchdowns and 10 interceptions while starting for the B.C. Lions. He ran 39 times for 304 yards (7.8 per carry) and seven touchdowns during 10 regular season games, nine starts. The Ohio University graduate won the league’s Most Outstanding Canadian award despite missing half the season with a Lisfranc injury.

New England has undergone significant changes this offseason, parting ways with legendary head coach Bill Belichick after a 4-13 campaign. Jerod Mayo, the brother of former CFL linebacker Deron Mayo, has since taken over as head coach.

Incumbent quarterbacks Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe remain under contract with the Patriots, but the team is expected to explore other options. The Pats are scheduled to pick third in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Justin Dunk is a football insider, sports reporter and anchor.