Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
If the New England Patriots have plans to trade backup quarterback Ryan Mallett this offseason—as hypothesized by Gil Brandt of NFL.com—they have some preparation to do.
Backup quarterbacks seem useless right up to the point where your season depends on one. While Mallett has only seen a handful of snaps in his three years in New England, Patriots fans have seen that backup quarterbacks—Tom Brady and Matt Cassel—sometimes have a big impact on a season.
Therefore, if the Patriots don't have a plan for what to do post-Mallett, taking a second-round pick in a trade looks far less appetizing.
Chad Henne and Shaun Hill, who played with the Jaguars and Lions last year, respectively, are two savvy veterans who can come in and win a couple of games if needed. They aren't going to win the Super Bowl on their own, but they are far better than replacement-level throwers.
With a veteran in place, the Patriots would be in a good position to trade Mallett for a Day 2 pick and spend a late-round choice on a new quarterback to groom.