Tom Brady isn’t going to play forever.
Despite his recently-signed contract extension, the 37-year-old Brady only has so many years left in the tank before he must relinquish his role as the starting quarterback for the New England Patriots. When that day comes, the team is going to need another gunslinger who can step in and not miss a beat.
Ryan Mallett can be that guy, but only if they don’t trade him this offseason.
For the last two years, Mallett has played apprentice to Brady, watching the All-Pro and future Hall of Famer work his magic on opposing NFL defenses. While Mallett is nowhere near the level of his predecessor, the youngster has all of the tools to succeed and is slated for another season of learning behind one of the best the game has ever seen.
So why would the Patriots want to trade Mallett? Sure, they might get a shiny new draft pick in return. Heck, they may even get a pick and a role player to help their oft-ailing defense. But what exactly would they be giving up?
In Mallett, they would be giving up a quarterback with the potential to develop into a super star. While the Arkansas alumnus wasn’t exactly a top draft pick back in 2011, it was off-field concerns and attitude issues that forced the gunslinger to slide. The on-field talent speaks for itself, though.
Mallett has a rocket for an arm, tremendous poise in the pocket and an uncanny ability to make plays when they matter most. Although we have yet to see what he brings to the field at the NFL level, being under Brady’s tutelage could only have heightened those talents and accentuated the skills that made him an NFL prospect in the first place.
Unless an offer too good to pass up comes across their desk, the Patriots need to keep Mallett in New England for the time being. Brady only has another two or three years left in his shoulder before he calls it quits. Might as well make sure that you have a solid backup plan in place, and Mallett fits the bill.