Arizona Cardinals Should Make a Play for the Patriots' Ryan Mallett

Jonathan CullenSenior Writer IFebruary 6, 2013

Mallett might be an interesting QB for Bruce Arians to work with.
Mallett might be an interesting QB for Bruce Arians to work with.Rob Carr/Getty Images

Now that the Super Bowl is completed, the Arizona Cardinals can turn their attention towards getting the team ready for the 2013 NFL regular season.

The biggest issue facing the Cards right now is who will be the quarterback under center when the team heads to training camp.

The New England Patriots' Ryan Mallett might be a good compromise candidate for new head coach Bruce Arians to develop.

The best quarterback available to Arizona would be Alex Smith, but the San Francisco 49ers might be unwilling to trade Smith within the division and the Cards might be unwilling to meet a pricey demand.

This article from the Mercury News' Daniel Brown makes it seem unlikely that the 49ers would cut Smith, but it might simply be the team posturing.

Incumbent Kevin Kolb is likely to be asked to restructure his contract and take a pay cut. Kolb's contract calls for a $2.5 million signing by March 19th, giving the team a month to rework his deal.

Cutting his salary might make Kolb more palatable to the team. Based off of the past two seasons, the Cardinals would likely be highly unwilling to commit any more large dollars to their injury-prone quarterback.

If Smith and Kolb are off the table, it might be a good move for the team to make a play for the 24-year-old Mallett. 


Mallett was excellent in the tough SEC while playing quarterback for Arkansas Razorbacks, putting up great numbers in the two seasons that he was the starter.

Despite Mallet's great play, his off-the-field behavior, including being arrested for public intoxication, might have impacted how he was viewed by NFL teams. Rumors of potential drug use have followed Mallett as well.

But the biggest thing that might have turned off teams was Mallett missing a pre-draft meeting with the Carolina Panthers.

Mallett was rumored to be out partying the night before, causing him to miss a meeting with the team who held the first pick in the draft.

Mallett's immaturity caused him to drop to the third round of the 2011 NFL Draft, where the Patriots gladly scooped him up.

Two years later, Mallett has been a model citizen with the Patriots and has had a chance to learn from one of the best quarterbacks in the history of the game in Tom Brady.

Would the Pats be willing to treat Mallett like a lottery ticket and trade him to the Cardinals for a conditional draft pick? ESPN Boston's Mike Reiss believes the Patriots would trade Mallett for the right offer.

Mallett has the huge arm that Arians craves, which would allow the Cards to get the ball down the field to Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd. Arians has already said that the team wants "True Grit" from the quarterback position, something that he might not find on the current roster.

Given Arians recent success with Ben Roethlisberger and Andrew Luck, going with the talented but inexperienced Mallett might be better than reaching for a quarterback in the draft.

It will be interesting to see in what direction the Cardinals move in.


Information used from Mercury News,, ESPN Boston, Wikipedia