The saga has ended. QB Ryan Mallett is no longer in New England.
The New England Patriots drafted the 6-foot-6, 240-pound quarterback out of Arkansas in the third round of the 2011 NFL draft. On Sunday, the Patriots traded Mallett to the Houston Texans for a conditional pick. Reportedly, if Mallett plays 40 percent of the snaps for Houston this season, it will be a sixth-round pick, otherwise the Patriots will receive a seventh-round pick.
It’s not difficult to figure out why the Texans made this deal. The quarterbacks they currently have their roster consist of Ryan Fitzpatrick and Tom Savage. Did the deal make as much sense for the Patriots, though?
Patriots fans have this whole “in Bill we trust” thing going, and head coach Bill Belichick has earned that trust; but does that mean fans have to agree with this move? Not necessarily. It was only in 2011 when the Patriots used a third-round pick on Mallett, and now they will only receive a sixth or seventh-round pick back. Couldn’t that pick have been put to better use? Maybe a cornerback or a true No. 1 receiver?
Why use a third-round pick on someone who probably wouldn’t (and didn’t) see the field in any meaningful time? Yes, sixth-round picks can work out (Brady certainly did), but those are incredibly rare instances, and it seems like the Patriots essentially flipped a 2011 third-round pick for a 2015 sixth- or seventh-round pick.
The Patriots could end up in the same position in the near future. They selected Jimmy Garoppolo out of Eastern Illinois in the second round of this year’s draft. Garoppolo is showing a lot of promise and has certainly played well for the most part during the preseason, but will the Patriots be receiving a late-round pick for him too once his rookie deal is up?
Most Patriots fans will and should keep trusting Belichick as long as the Patriots keep winning and making it deep into the playoffs. Mallett was going to be a free agent at the end of this season, and it’s great that the Patriots received compensation that is probably more valuable than keeping a third-string quarterback for just the 2014 season.
The Patriots have clearly decided that Garoppolo will be Brady’s backup this season, but this comes down to the Patriots needing to manage their draft picks better.