Former Panthers GM Marty Hurney isn’t exactly buying Bill Belichick‘s answer when he was asked yesterday if he’d be interested in trading quarterback Ryan Mallett, writes ESPNBoston.com’s Mike Reiss. “He was regarded highly enough as a quarterback coming out [in 2011], and I think the position creates interest in itself,” Hurney said of the Patriots signal caller. “I said this statement [from Belichick] is like if you ever go to dinner and a person says, ‘I don’t want dessert’ so you order a chocolate cake and a big piece of chocolate cake comes out and all of a sudden you look and the other person is eating half of it. I think, if the chocolate cake looks good enough for Bill Belichick, they would be interested in trading Ryan Mallett.”
Meanwhile, Doug Kyed of NESN.com answered roster questions as part of a mailbag. Among his answers:
- The futures of running backs Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley, both free agents at year’s end, are dependent upon production, health (in the case of Vereen), ball security (in the case of Ridley) and the performance of rookie James White. As of now, Kyed believes Vereen has a higher chance of being retained.
- Nose tackle Sealver Siliga played well in late-season duty, and if that continues through training camp, he’s the “perfect” backup for veteran Vince Wilfork.
- Fourth-rounder Bryan Stork, who offers center/guard versatility, could compete for a starting job this season.
- Meanwhile, the Pats have yet to add a legitimate No. 3 tight end, seemingly a position of need. Undrafted free agent Justin Jones out of East Carolina could be a sleeper, however, writes Karen Guregian in the Boston Herald. She talked to Jones’ college coach, Ruffin McNeil (who also coached Wes Welker and Danny Amendola in college), who had this to say: “I think they’ll be pleasantly surprised with him. He’ll catch on. He’ll work hard. Justin was taught the same concepts in our offense, as Danny and Wes had at Texas Tech. Plus, he’s got great hands, athleticism, and he’s got length. He was a mismatch any time in the red zone.” The 6-8, 277-pounder went undrafted after not playing in 2013 when he was academically ineligible.