NFL trade rumors: Patriots place 1st or 2nd round grade on Ryan Mallett

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Patriots think highly of their backup quarterback. Will other teams be willing to give them what they want?

The New England Patriots would be willing to trade backup quarterback Ryan Mallett, but it comes at a steep price. The Pats are demanding a first- or second-round pick for the young signal caller, according to NFL.com's Ian Rappaport. Mallett hasn't played much in the regular season, but it's clear that the Patriots value him as a safety valve should Tom Brady suffer an injury.

Even if a team believes Mallett's talent to be worthy of a second-round pick, the new collective bargaining agreement may cause some reticence to trade for the former Arkansas star. The CBA dictates that any team trading for Mallett would not be able to re-negotiate a long-term deal until the season concludes. Any club wanting to pick up Mallett to make him their franchise quarterback would surely want to lock him into place in a multi-year deal.

The Browns and Buccaneers have still expressed interest in Mallet despite that caveat, meaning it isn't just the Patriots that think highly of him.

So why would teams be interested in a third-round draft pick that has thrown just four career passes? He has the typical attributes that the NFL desires in a quarterback. Mallett is 6'6 with a strong arm. He also displayed accuracy during his final season at Arkansas, completing nearly 65 percent of his passes.

Mallett may eventually be worth the price that the Patriots are asking, but it seems unlikely that a team will pony up with the limitations brought on by the CBA. The NFL might decide to go one more year without shopping for Mallett.

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