BOSTON (CBS) — As this year’s NFL Draft approached, there were rumors swirling that the Patriots were looking to trade backup quaterback Ryan Mallett.
Mallett was entering the final year of his contract, and New England had been hosting some high profile quarterbacks for pre-draft workouts. Those rumors took on new life after New England selected quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in the second round, adding another passer to their depth chart behind Tom Brady.
With former offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien now in charge of the Houston Texans, it seemed like they would eventually be a fit for Mallett. But a trade never materialized at the draft, and Houston drafted QB Tom Savage in the fourth round.
The rumors are still out there that the Patriots could look to trade Mallett before the season, but on Thursday Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said they are not looking to deal their three-year backup.
“That’s not really something we’re that interested in,” Belichick said on SiriusXM’s “Moving The Chains” with Jim Miller and Pat Kirwan.
“Ryan has done a good job for us. Fortunately for our team, maybe unfortunately for Ryan, he hasn’t really had any playing time in the last three years,” said Belichick. “But he’s improved tremendously as a quarterback and as a football player, and we have a lot of confidence in him. But at the same time, he’s in the last year of a contract, and Jimmy was the player we had with a high grade on. At that position, I just don’t think you can afford to pass up a player that you think has that kind of value.”
The Patriots have carried three quarterbacks under Belichick several times during his tenure in New England, and it makes sense to keep Mallett for his final year to allow Garoppolo to learn the position in the NFL.
“We feel like we have a good quarterback situation,” said Belichick. “I think there are a lot of teams in the league that maybe don’t feel that good about that position, and that’s not a good position to not feel good about. We feel very good about the players we have at that spot.”
In three years Mallett has appeared in just four games for New England, completing one of his four passes for 17 yards.
98.5 The Sports Hub’s Andy Gresh and Scott Zolak discussed Belichick’s radio appearance Friday afternoon — listen below: