New England Patriots quarterback Ryan Mallett is a man in demand right now. The former Arkansas standout is reportedly having a standout camp that seems to be proving to several coaches around the league that he could be a solid starter.
Mallett is scheduled to hit free agency at the end of this season and the Patriots knew that, and went out and used their second round pick on former Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Garoppolo is the man they want to become the new Mallett, backing up Tom Brady and maybe even being his successor when the Golden Boy retires.
With Mallett scheduled to hit free agency and his future cloudy at best in New England, he has been the subject of trade rumors dating back to the offseason when there were whispers the Houston Texans were interested in the former Razorbacks play-caller.
However, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston - who was on Sports Talk with Bo Mattingly on Friday afternoon - the Patriots have no intentions of trading Mallet, unless they can get a first round pick.
From Mattingly's Twitter Account:
"Reiss: The Pats figure after this year, Mallett will want to go elsewhere. If a team came up w/a 1st-rd pick for him, they’d trade him."
On the face of it, a first round picks is a pretty big price to pay for a quarterback with hardly anyregular season experience, but it shows you that lack of willingness the Patriots have in dealing him this season.
Should Brady suffer an injury, Mallett would be a greatly preferred replacement than Garoppolo so his insurance policy is worth more than any mid-round pick they may be able to acquire. Plus, if Mallett signs elsewhere this off-season, the Patriots will land a compensatory pick, so won't lose the 26-year old for nothing.