The Cleveland Browns have been linked to New England Patriots backup quarterback Ryan Mallett throughout the offseason, but the Browns are not interested in trading for Mallett, according to The Cleveland Plain Dealer's Mary Kay Cabot. This comes after reports emerged Thursday that the Patriots were listening to trade offers.
Cleveland general manager Michael Lombardi praised Mallett prior to the 2011 draft, saying he believed Mallett would be one of the most successful quarterbacks from the 2011 draft class. As Tom Brady's backup in New England, Mallett hasn't received much playing time in his brief NFL career.
The Browns selected Brandon Weeden out of Oklahoma State with the No. 22 pick of the 2012 NFL Draft -- but Cleveland's current front office may not agree with that decision. Last season, as a 29-year-old rookie, Weeden completed 57.4 percent of his passes for 3,385 yards, while throwing 14 touchdowns and 17 interceptions.
Though Weeden wasn't surrounded with much talent offensively, his numbers and play were still underwhelming. Lombardi termed Cleveland's selection of Weeden last offseason as a "panicked disaster" while working for the NFL Network as an analyst.
Lombardi's comments last offseason lead many to believe that Cleveland does not yet have its long-term answer at quarterback. The Browns traded Colt McCoy to the San Francisco 49ers earlier this offseason and signed Jason Campbell to back up Weeden.
With Brady signing a five-year contract extension with the Patriots, Mallett has become even more expendable. New England enters the 2013 NFL Draft with just five selections -- with only three picks falling in the top 200. The Patriots are believed to want a second-round pick in return for Mallett, but so far have yet to receive such an offer.
Mallett-to-Cleveland rumors seemed to make sense -- especially given Lombardi's affinity of Mallett two years ago. Mallett possesses a strong arm that would be well-suited for Rob Chudzinski's offense.
The Browns forfeited their second-round pick last year when they selected Baylor wide receiver Josh Gordon in the second round of the 2012 Supplemental Draft. Cleveland could opt to trade down from No. 6 overall and acquire a second-round pick in the process -- but if the Browns do so, it apparently won't be with the intention of trading for Mallett.