Jermaine Cunningham was drafted by the Patriots in the second round of the 2010 draft and spent three seasons with the team. He recorded 34 tackles and one sack in 15 games in 2010, then took a step back in 2011. He seemed to be moving in the right direction in 2012, recording 24 tackles and 2.5 sacks in 12 games, but missed four due to a suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy. He
Cunningham was back in training camp with the Patriots in 2013, but the team decided to go another way, releasing him in its final cuts. He spent the first few weeks of 2013 as a free agent, then signed with the 49ers in September.