By Eric Schmidt

One would have to assume that at this point New England Patriots backup quarterback Ryan Mallett is off the trade block. There had been some speculation that the Patriots might be willing to trade Mallett given the new deal that Tom Brady received along with the release of former Patriots quarterback Matt Cassel by the Kansas City Chiefs. Cassel signed with the Minnesota Vikings on Friday and he is now off the market. The speculation surrounded the Patriots re-signing Cassel and then moving Mallett for an additional pick next month.

The trade of Mallett might have made sense had the Patriots secured a deal with Cassel. The Patriots, a team that loves to stockpile draft picks, is very thin with the number of selections in next month’s draft. A trade of Mallett would now leave the Patriots with just Mike Kafka on the roster.

Despite not having many draft picks next month, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported overnight that the Patriots have signed Steelers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders to an offer sheet. Early this morning this report was refuted by ESPN’s Adam Schefter. If they do sign Sanders and the Steelers don’t match the offer, the Patriots will surrender a third-round pick in April’s draft. New England currently does not have a fourth, fifth or sixth-round pick in the upcoming draft.

Two teams were rumored to be interested in Mallett, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Cleveland Browns. Rumors suggested that Browns general manager Mike Lombardi was very high on Mallett and looking to upgrade the Cleveland quarterback position.

The Buccaneers are looking to bring someone in to challenge incumbent signal caller Josh Freeman. Freeman is entering the final year of his contract and the Buccaneers have made no moves to extend his deal as of yet. Ironically, the Buccaneers were rumored to be interested in Matt Cassel as well.

 

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