Alex Smith’s trade to the Kansas City Chiefs could impact the future of New England Patriots backup quarterback, Ryan Mallett. With the San Francisco 49ers dealing Smith away to Kansas City, the market has been set for quarterbacks. The Chiefs agreed to acquire Smith in exchange for their 2013 second round pick and a conditional mid-round selection in 2014. That is a steep price to pay for a quarterback who has only excelled in one season (2011), especially considering Smith was benched (fair or not fair) mid-way through last season.
The Alex Smith trade proves that teams are willing to give up high draft selections in order to acquire a quarterback they believe can succeed. Although Ryan Mallett has spent the past two years merely on the sidelines watching the greatness of Tom Brady, the general viewpoint around the league is that the Mallett has the potential to succeed in the NFL.
The Patriots drafted Mallett in the third round of 2011, even though they knew he would only be the starter if something disastrous happened to Brady. The Patriots recognized the talent in Mallett and drafted him in order to create a future trade with another team in need of a quarterback.
There are plenty of teams seeking help at the quarterback position and would love to have the services of Mallett. The Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills, Jacksonville Jaguars and Oakland Raiders are all desperately searching to improve their quarterback situation.
The market for Mallett should be high considering that the Chiefs were willing to deal away the No. 33 overall pick in this year’s NFL draft to win the bidding war for Alex Smith, who posts a mediocre career record of 38-36-31 as a starter.
The New England Patriots should try to trade Mallett this off-season, considering how weak the draft class is, not to mention the only serviceable free agent quarterback is Matt Moore. The Patriots could easily acquire a second-round pick for Mallett, whether the selection comes in this year’s draft or in a future draft.
There is only one potential hurdle for trading away Mallett. According to the collective bargaining agreement, Mallett will not be able to restructure his deal until after the season. That may scare teams away, even if he will not become a free agent until after the 2014 season. Alas, the demand for a young quarterback with strong potential is high among several teams and therefore now is the time for the Patriots to deal away and Mallett.