With New England Patriots training camp set to start in roughly a month, the team sits in a very good position when it comes to quarterbacks.
Brady's backup, Brian Hoyer, who signed a one-year deal worth $1.927 million back in March, is considered one of the league's top backup quarterbacks—and could be the guy next in line to follow the footsteps of former backups like Matt Schaub, Kevin Kolb and Matt Flynn.
And then the guy backing up Hoyer is Ryan Mallett—a second-year player taken 74th overall in the 2011 NFL draft. Mallett's talent was certainly first-round caliber, but due to a questionable character, his stock plummeted—which truly made the selection of Mallett a value pick for Bill Belichick.
With New England in such a good position with their quarterbacks, Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald indicates that the team could be interested in trading the 26-year-old Hoyer:
The Patriots like Mallett, but how much? If they believe he can be a suitable backup for Tom Brady this season, they might get aggressive in terms of trying to move Brian Hoyer, who will be an unrestricted free agent after the season.
If a quarterback goes down elsewhere, the Patriots should be more inclined to flip Hoyer for a pick if they believe in Mallett. If not, the Patriots will at least have some peace of mind with Hoyer as the backup, even if he’s able to walk free next year.
If the Patriots do choose to listen to offers come training camp and the preseason, they'll definitely have some strong cases when they choose to negotiate for a potential trade as Hoyer has performed well when he's seen the field.
The Michigan State product has appeared in 13 career games while posting an 80.2 quarterback rating while completing 27 of his 43 passes for 286 yards and one touchdown compared to one interception. Granted, all of the teams that we have seen Hoyer has been in cleanup duty for the Patriots, but if you break down his game film, you can certainly see that he has what it takes to be an NFL starter.
If New England does choose to hang onto Hoyer, assuming that they don't have faith in Mallett being the team's primary backup, then they could certainly receive some interest for the second-year quarterback.
We have little game film on Mallett, but in his first-ever preseason appearance last year against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Mallett impressed everyone that was watching. The Arkansas product completed 12 of his 19 passes for 164 yards while tossing one touchdown and posting an 108.2 quarterback rating.
There have been no reports on what the Patriots plan on doing with Mallett, which leaves the door open to ultimately holding onto him and grooming him to be the future replacement for Brady—but some may feel that's a long shot.
Either way, Belichick will definitely be open to listening to calls regarding a potential trade for either of his backup quarterbacks, and if the right offer is there, there's no doubt that he'll pull the trigger.
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