The Washington Redskins beat the New England Patriots, 23-6, last Thursday in a preseason game featuring two quarterbacks who could be on move in the very near future: Ryan Mallett and Kirk Cousins.
To be sure, it’s unlikely that either quarterback will be moved before the season – albeit for very different reasons. Cousins, who was 9-of-13 for 103 yards and a touchdown against New England, is a valuable insurance policy for the injury-prone Robert Griffin III. Mallett, on the other hand, simply isn’t as good as you might think – or, better yet, as good as the Patriots want you to think.
The Patriots claim there is interest in Mallett on the open market, but it appears they’re just trying to drum up his own value – unsuccessfully, in all likelihood.
“No, I don’t think there is real interest at this point,” NFL Network reporter Albert Breer said on The Damon Amendolara Show. “And look, here’s the thing: To me, it’s something worth noting. There were a couple of people who’ve worked with Ryan Mallett out there – teams that have a quarterback need who could have made a run at him and didn’t. I’m talking about the Houston Texans, who came into the offseason with a whole lot of nothing at that position and wouldn’t extend themselves to get something there. And (I’m talking about) the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who have Jason Licht as their general manager, who was with Ryan Mallett as a rookie in New England. And they go and get Josh McCown and stick with Mike Glennon instead. I think that tells you a little about it, and that’s telling others a little bit how Mallett is viewed internally in New England.”
Mallett, 26, has thrown just four passes in his career and has just one completion for 17 yards. He also has one interception.
“I think if you are going to make a run at him at the end of camp – and I think that’s unlikely – but if you are going to make a run at the end of camp, it’s probably going to be based on how highly you thought of him coming out of Arkansas,” Breer said of the 2011 third-round pick. “And the off-field stuff may be cleaned up to some degree, but a lot of the on-field issue that he had in Arkansas still show up when he gets in the game. He’s slow-footed, he doesn’t look natural in the pocket and he’s not consistently accurate.”
Cousins, meanwhile, doesn’t have a huge sample size in his career, but he at least has something, which is more than Mallett can say. In eight games over two seasons, Cousins has completed 114-of-203 passes (56.2 percent) for 1,320 yards, eight touchdowns and 10 interceptions. His best game came last year in Week 15, when he threw for 381 yards and three touchdowns in a 27-26 loss at Atlanta.
Based on that game alone, Cousins is more likely than Mallett to be dealt at the end of August.
“I would certainly rank Kirk Cousins as a more valuable asset on the trade market at this point,” Breer said.