The Browns have been staying busy in the hours leading up to the NFL trade deadline (tomorrow at 4pm EST, for those keeping score at home), and it sounds like they're in contact with the New England Patriots about the possibility of bringing QB Ryan Mallett to Cleveland.
Mallett has thrown exactly four passes during his NFL career, but he was extremely productive in two years as Arkansas' starting QB. After two-and-a-half seasons of studying Tom Brady, Mallett has become a very desirable option for teams looking to find a reliable backup or a starter they can roll the dice on.
Mallett is a large but mobile QB with great pocket presence and a cannon for an arm. He brings a lot to the table, but in preseason action this year and last season he struggled with his accuracy. Cleveland will be taking a gamble if they bring Mallett to town, especially given the hefty price tag the Patriots have slapped on him.
Mallett is expected to cost the Browns a second-round pick in this year's draft or a first round pick in 2014, which is a serious asking price for a team like Cleveland that's in the middle of a rebuilding effort. For the Browns to pull the trigger on this trade, they'll need to hope Mallett comes good on his potential sooner rather than later.
Will he be better than Brandon Weeden? Almost definitely. Will he be good enough to build around going forward? It's impossible to know with so little to judge on. The Patriots and the Browns might just be trying to get an accurate read on Mallett's value, but if either side thinks they can get a bargain, they'll make this move happen. New England is widely expected to draft a QB next season, and with Mallett's contract expiring soon, they're trying to cash in while they still can.
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