New England Patriots backup quarterback Ryan Mallett was the subject of several trade rumors last offseason, and some rumors linked Mallett to Michael Lombardi and the Cleveland Browns. No draft-day trades materialized either, and Mallett spend another mediocre preseason with the Patriots organization. It’s clear that the Pats have always been high on the strong-armed Arkansas product, as they snapped him up in the third round of the draft in 2011 after tumbling due to character concerns.
There were some rumors linking the Houston Texans to Mallett earlier this offseason, but it was all just speculative interest at best from former Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien. The Patriots put Mallett’s price tag at around a second-round pick, as they believe it wouldn’t be worth it to trade him for the same pick they spent on him after grooming him as a backup for Tom Brady.
ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss wrote in today’s “Quick-hit” column that his projected trade value for Mallett is a “late-round pick at best”, and this belief isn’t a new one that Reiss has shared with us. As Reiss notes, this lack of interest means that Mallett isn’t going anywhere, because it isn’t worth it for the Patriots to trade away a still-promising backup quarterback they like for a low pick. I mean, how many late-round draft prospects this year are better than Mallett? Exactly, none of them. Or, at least, the chances are so low that it’s not worth it to trade away a former third-round pick with experience in your offense for a pick that would fetch you someone like Logan Thomas or Tom Savage.
The Patriots are looking into some quarterbacks in this year’s class, and I wonder if they could pluck away someone as a backup if there is another draft-day tumble for them. Mallett is a free agent next year, and something tells me the Patriots would be willing to keep three QBs on the roster for this season and develop this new QB as a potential heir apparent or trade chip.