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New England Patriots: Jimmy Garoppolo Relieving Tom Brady A Telling Sign For Ryan Mallett

Jimmy Garoppolo Ryan Mallet

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During tonight’s New England PatriotsPhiladelphia Eagles matchup, a surprising scene happened in the first quarter. When the Pats came on for their third offensive drive after a Tommy Kelly fumble recovery, Tom Brady was relieved by rookie second-round pick Jimmy Garoppolo, and not third-year backup Ryan Mallett.

Word coming out of Patriots camp is the desired result is for them to trade Mallett to another team where he can compete for a starting job. When they used a second-round pick on a QB in this year’s draft, the writing was already on the wall. Now it seems Garoppolo has already superseded Mallett as the primary backup to Brady.

You could point to the fact that Mallett missed two days of practice this week as to why he could be third string, but you would think that three years of work in the system would overrule that. Bill Belichick is going to have to make some hard decisions in the next week with all his QBs healthy.

Mallett might have seen this coming after he had a terrible performance in the first preseason game. He went 5/12 while only averaging 4.6 yards per attempt. Garoppolo, on the other hand, went 9/12 for 157 yards and the team’s only touchdown. The numbers show that Mallett needs to turn it around, and fast.

Maybe this is Belichick trying to light a fire under Mallett. Garoppolo is killing it in the time he has been given. As of this writing, he already had two touchdowns on five attempts. Mallett needs to have a great second half to even have teams consider trading for him.

Nick Villano is the New Jersey Devils writer for Rant Sports.  He also adds to the site’s NBA, MLB and NFL content.  You can follow him on Twitter or add him to your Google circle.

See how Garoppolo plays in New Englands next preseason game against the Carolina Panthers where Patriots tickets are averaging $80 according to Razorgator.