New England Patriots claim former Carolina Panthers QB Matt Corral off waivers

Matt Corral isn’t coming back to Charlotte.

The 2022 third-round pick was claimed off waivers by the New England Patriots on Thursday. Corral, along with linebacker Chandler Wooten and wideout Derek Wright, hit the waiver wire on Wednesday after the Panthers claimed three other players off waivers.

Corral will now join the Patriots as Mac Jones’ backup quarterback. Ironically, Panthers’ rookie starting quarterback Bryce Young served as Jones’ backup at Alabama during Young’s true freshman season in Tuscaloosa in 2020.

The Panthers traded up and selected Corral with the 94th overall pick in last year’s NFL draft. The deal to trade up for Corral was made with the Patriots, who will now employee the Ole Miss alum.

Corral never threw a regular-season pass for the Panthers. He spent his entire rookie season on injured reserve after undergoing foot surgery for an injury suffered against the Patriots in his first NFL preseason. Corral returned to the Panthers in the offseason under new head coach Frank Reich, who replaced former head coach Matt Rhule in January.

Following the first overall selection of Young and the signing of veteran backup Andy Dalton, Corral was competing for the third quarterback job this summer. Corral threw for 249 yards and an interception in three preseason games and secured a spot on the Panthers’ initial 53-man depth chart on Tuesday. However, that role was short-lived, as he was waived less than 24 hours later.

Prior to the Patriots’ waiver claim, Panthers GM Scott Fitterer said the team was open to Corral returning on the practice squad. Corral’s claiming leaves the Panthers without a third quarterback on the 53-man roster and practice squad.

However, the Panthers now have an open spot on their main roster following tight end Stephen Sullivan’s placement on the injured reserve list. The team also has five slots open on its practice squad to sign an additional quarterback.