After drafting Jimmy Garoppolo in the second round the Patriots now have three quarterbacks on their roster. Speculation is that Garoppolo will sit under Mallett until his contract ends after this year in preparation to learn the Patriots' system for next season.
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.”
“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.”
The Patriots carried three quarterbacks in Mallett's rookie year, with Brian Hoyer as the primary backup to allow Mallett a year to adjust to the NFL. Mallett is 111-of-206 for 1,104 yards, 7 touchdowns and 3 interceptions in the preseason, but his regular season opportunities have been limited. He is just 1-of-4 for 17 yards and an interception in the regular season over the last three years, according to a report by Boston.com.
Belichick explained his reasons for picking Garoppolo in the second round as quarterback they had a high grade on with his skill set that could bring value to the team.
"Jimmy was a player we had with a high grade on," Belichick said. "At that position I don't think you can afford to pass up a player that you think has that kind of value. We feel like we have a good quarterback situation. I think there's a lot of teams in the league that maybe don't feel 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.