Back-up quarterback Ryan Mallett has made the New England Patriots‘ final roster, likely as the No. 3 behind Jimmy Garoppolo and Tom Brady.
His position on the team has been speculated for weeks due to the performance of Garoppolo, who, in every preseason outing, played far better than Mallet. The likelihood that the Patriots will actually utilize Mallett this season is almost nil, so why would Bill Belichick fill a roster spot with an essentially unnecessary piece?
Mallett may not be a big-name starter, but he would bring value to a smaller club looking for options. Not every team is lead by a Brady or a Peyton Manning, but Mallett’s experience alongside Belichick and Brady already brings up his stock value. It is likely the Belichick would have preferred to trade Mallett in the offseason, but with no teams biting, he has chosen to keep him on the roster as a security blanket for the future.
In addition, Garoppolo, although he has played well in the preseason, has never experienced a regular season NFL game. That is a totally different environment; one that even Mallett has little experience in. However, if the time comes when the Patriots need to utilize a backup and Garoppolo cracks under the pressure, having a seasoned third-stringer like Mallett will be helpful.
This is the first time in years that Mallett has been newsworthy, but stay tuned as his story may not be over quite yet.