It's that time of the week. Again. For the upteenth time, quarterback Ryan Mallett is considered back on the trading block by the New England Patriots as they try to swing a deal for the 4th year player in the last season of his contract.
The winds have changed with regards to how ready the team views rookie quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and while Bill Belichick won't outrightly call Jimmy G the back-up, the preseason games have all but solidified that assumption. Ryan Mallett threw three attempts against the Panthers, while Garoppolo saw the bulk of the back-up snaps.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that Garoppolo is expected to start against the Giants in game four of the preseason, a game generally owned by the back-up quarterback. Ian Rapoport of NFL Network followed that report by saying Mallett is expected to be held out as the Patriots shop around Mallett for options, especially as quarterbacks around the league are getting hampered by injury.
Since the draft, Mallett has been linked with trades, but as Matt Schaub in Oakland and Ryan Fitzpatrick in Houston both underwhelm, and as Sam Bradford of the Rams is out for the season with a torn ACL, there are opportunities opening. The Patriots won't be getting the 2nd round pick they were linked to during the draft period, and Mallett's value has only declined this off-season.
It's likely the team will try and trade Mallett for a conditional late round pick- a 6th rounder that could be bumped to a 5th based upon playing time. Most offices around the league don't have Mallett graded too highly, especially when compared to the hoopla surrounding his name, and the Patriots would want to take a guaranteed late round pick over risking the compensatory draft pick process.