New England Patriots waive Canadian QB Nathan Rourke

Courtesy: AP/Matt Durisko

The New England Patriots have waived Canadian quarterback Nathan Rourke, per sources. ESPN’s Mike Reiss first reported the news.

The move came after the team selected two quarterbacks in the 2024 NFL Draft, Drake Maye third overall and Joe Milton in round six. The Pats signed veteran Jacoby Brissett in free agency, giving him $5 million USD in guaranteed money on a one-year contract. Bailey Zappe, who started games last season, currently has a spot on the roster.

Rourke was claimed off waivers by the Patriots on Dec. 18, 2023, after he was waived by the Jacksonville Jaguars and dressed for the final three games of the season. He was New England’s primary backup for their regular season finale but did not see game action. The six-foot-two, 209-pound QB earned $519,668 USD in his first NFL season.

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.

The 25-year-old signed with the Jags last off-season 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 carrying the ball 14 times for 39 yards plus one touchdown. Rourke was waived after training camp but landed on the team’s practice roster and was activated for three regular season games.

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, including nine starts. The Ohio University graduate won the three-down league’s Most Outstanding Canadian award despite missing half the season with a Lisfranc injury.

In January, Rourke said: “I’m in it for the long run. I know I can play in the NFL and can be a starter.” If he does ever decide to come back north of the border, the dual-threat QB would be a CFL free agent.

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