Ryan Mallett

Former QB Ryan Mallett Drowns In Florida

Former quarterback Ryan Mallett drowned Tuesday in Florida. He was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital, Deltaplex News reports. He was 35.

Mallett was transported from a beach to the hospital. The former Arkansas standout had not played in the NFL since 2017; he had been in coaching, being hired as head coach by White Hall (Arkansas) High School in 2022. Officials with the school district confirmed (via KARK.com’s Ryan Turbeville) Mallett drowned while swimming in Florida.

Previously serving as an assistant high school coach in his native Arkansas, Mallett had been out of the NFL since 2018. The 6-foot-6 passer finished his career as a member of the Ravens, serving as a Joe Flacco backup. Mallett filled in for an injured Flacco twice during the 2015 season, one he began with the Texans, and continued as a backup for two more seasons.

The Patriots used a third-round pick on Mallett in 2011, bringing him in as a backup to Tom Brady. Mallett only attempted four passes as a member of the Patriots, who traded him to the Texans months after drafting Jimmy Garoppolo in the 2014 second round. Mallett served as Ryan Fitzpatrick‘s backup during the 2014 season in Houston, starting two games before seeing his season end early due to a pectoral injury. While the team did not bring back Fitzpatrick, Mallett re-signed on a two-year deal in March 2015.

The Texans pitted Mallett and ex-Patriots teammate Brian Hoyer in a competition for the starting job in 2015, a battle chronicled on that year’s Hard Knocks. After Hoyer won it, the Texans benched him one game in. Mallett started the next four games for the eventual AFC South champion Texans, but the team benched him for Hoyer. Mallett missing a charter flight for an October 2015 game in Miami led to the Texans releasing him soon after.

Mallett finished seventh in the 2010 Heisman voting, throwing 32 touchdown passes and leading Arkansas to a 10-3 record. The former Michigan recruit started two seasons at Arkansas, combining for 62 TD passes and 7,493 yards.

This Date In Transactions History: Patriots Sign Tim Tebow

Bill Belichick has certainly earned the benefit of the doubt when it comes to roster machinations, but he raised a few eyebrows when he made a surprise signing on this date in 2013. On the eve of mandatory minicamp that year, Tebowmania made its way to Foxborough when the Patriots signed quarterback Tim Tebow.

At that point of his career, Tebow wasn’t far removed from his standout 2011 campaign. That year, Tebow went 7-4 in his 11 starts with the Broncos, and he even helped guide Denver to a playoff win. Of course, there were still plenty of pundits who questioned if Tebow could actually succeed as a starting NFL quarterback. Despite the solid record as a starter, Tebow only completed 46.5 percent of his passes that season, but he predictably showed much more promise on the ground, where he ran for 660 yards and six scores.

The Broncos decided to go all-in for the 2012 campaign, adding Peyton Manning to the mix. Tebow was ultimately shipped off to the Jets, where he started two games while mostly serving as a backup and wildcat alternative to Mark Sanchez. Tebow was cut by New York the following April.

The market wasn’t all that hot for Tebow, leading to him remaining unsigned for a couple of months. Then, the Patriots made the sudden signing on June 10, 2013. While the transaction certainly took many by surprise, it made some sense. For starters, the move reunited the QB with Josh McDaniels, who Tebow had his most NFL success under when the two were in Denver.

Secondly, there wouldn’t be any pressure for Tebow to play a major role in New England; he was never going to supplant Tom Brady, and most reporters opined that he would likely slide in third on the depth chart behind Ryan Mallett. The Patriots have been known to get creative with some of their personnel, so beyond serving as a back-of-the-depth-chart, wildcard option, there was some hope that the organization would try him out at some skill positions.

Finally, the stingy Patriots didn’t need to make any financial commitment to Tebow, which perhaps played a role in them tolerating the media circus that accompanied. While Tebow technically inked a two-year contract with the organization, it contained no guaranteed money and was mostly based on playing-time incentives.

Tebow’s stint in New England didn’t end up lasting all that long. He got into a pair of preseason games for the Patriots, with his 36.7 percent completion rate ranking last among all qualifying players. He was picked off twice and sacked a number of times, although he did manage to shake loose for 91 rushing yards on 16 attempts.

“It’s not just one game [that matters],” Belichick said following Tebow’s underwhelming preseason finale (via ESPN), “although every game is important. But the body of work, the camp, the rate of improvement, the ability to do the things that players are going to be asked to do at their respective positions [also matters].”

Whatever Tebow was showing Belichick off the field, it wasn’t enough to keep his job. Tebow was among the Patriots’ final cuts during the preseason, with the QB tweeting that he would “remain in relentless pursuit of continuing [his] lifelong dream of being an NFL quarterback.”

The Patriots rolled forward with only two QBs on the roster for the 2013 campaign, and Brady ended up taking every snap at the position that season. While the Tebow signing is ultimately just a footnote in the story of the Brady/Belichick Patriots, the signing may have given us a clue that the organization was considering future options at QB outside of Mallett, a former third-round pick. Indeed, during the 2014 NFL Draft, the Patriots ended up selecting Jimmy Garoppolo in the second round.

As for Tebow, the signal-caller would get a few more NFL opportunities before all was said and done. He spent the 2015 preseason with the Eagles, and during the 2021 preseason, he caught on with Urban Meyer as a tight end in Jacksonville. Still, he hasn’t seen the field since 2012.

QBs Mallett, Daniels To Work Out For XFL

Ryan Mallett and B.J. Daniels are eyeing another shot at professional football. The two former NFL quarterbacks (along with a long list of hopefuls) are participating at this weekend’s XFL Summer Showcase in Tampa Bay (full list via Emoy Hunt of The Athletic on Twitter).

The XFL Summer Showcase will take place in eight major cities through June and July. The invite-only workout is for players who recently completed their college eligibility, previously participated in the NFL, or played in an “alternate football league.” The event, which operates similarly to the combine, is intended for those seeking “potential XFL opportunities.”

Mallett, a 2011 third-round pick out of Arkansas, was once considered to be the heir apparent to Tom Brady in New England. That didn’t end up being the case, and the quarterback ultimately bounced between the Texans and Ravens. In 21 career NFL games, Mallett completed 55.1-percent of his passes for 1,835 yards, nine touchdowns, and 10 interceptions. His last NFL appearance came in 2017 with Baltimore.

Following a standout career at South Florida, Daniels was selected by the 49ers in the seventh-round of the 2013 draft. The former signal-caller was a practice squad mainstay until 2017, although the Seahawks gave him a handful of appearances in 2015. That season, Daniels earned snaps at wideout, and assuming his NFL career has come to an end, he’ll have finished with as many career receptions as pass attempts.

Other notable participants include running back Matt Jones, who had 950 rushing yards with the Redskins between 2015 and 2016. Former Colts linebacker Antonio Morrison, former first-round safety Matt Elam, and former Buccaneers defensive end George Johnson will also be in attendance.

Redskins Hope To Sign QB Josh Johnson

Following season-ending injuries to starting quarterback Alex Smith and backup Colt McCoy, the Redskins are naturally seeking some help behind Mark Sanchez. We learned earlier today that the team was set to audition a handful of signal-callers, and now there are two more names to add to the list. JP Finlay of NBC Sports Washington reports (via Twitter) that Washington will work out quarterbacks Landry Jones and Ryan Mallett today.

However, it sounds like the organization already has their eye on one quarterback in particular: Josh Johnson. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that the Redskins are hoping to sign the veteran. There are some hurdles that both sides need to overcome, including Johnson’s status as the recent number-one overall pick of the San Diego Fleet of the Alliance of American Football.

The 32-year-old Johnson has bounced around the NFL and UFL since being selected by the Buccaneers in the fifth round of the 2008 draft. The veteran’s last NFL action came in 2013, when he ran for 20 yards on seven carries in two games with the Bengals (he didn’t attempt a pass during his time in Cincy). His last extended look came back in 2011 during his final year in Tampa, when he completed 19 of his 36 pass attempts for 246 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions (to go along with 67 rushing yards).

Working in Johnson’s favor is his relative familiarity with the Redskins’ system. Head coach Jay Gruden was the Bengals’ offensive coordinator during Johnson’s stint in Cincinnati, and Gruden was also an offensive assistant with the Buccaneers during the quarterback’s rookie campaign. Johnson is obviously a different game manager than both Smith and McCoy, but the Redskins may be enticed by the free agent’s presumed ability to quickly learn the playbook.

Mallett had spent the past three seasons in Baltimore as Joe Flacco‘s backup, but he’s yet to find a new gig since hitting free agency. Meanwhile, Jones had a brief stint with the Jaguars this season, although he didn’t end up seeing the field for Jacksonville. The team is also reportedly set to audition E.J. ManuelT.J. Yates, and others.

Contract Details: Garcon, Baker, Klein, Jones

Let’s take a look at some details of the free agent contracts signed today:

  • Chris Baker, DL (Buccaneers): Three years, $15.75MM. $9MM guaranteed. $1MM in sack incentives each season (Twitter link via Master Tesfatsion of the Washington Post).
  • Jack Crawford, DL (Falcons): Three years, $10.3MM. $3.75MM in 2017 (Twitter link via Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com).
  • Pierre Garcon, WR (49ers): Two years, $23MM. $17MM guaranteed. Options for 2019 ($6MM), 2020 ($8.9MM), and 2021 ($9.6MM) (Twitter link via Tom Pelissero of USA Today).
  • Landry Jones, QB (Steelers): Two years, $4.4MM. $600K signing bonus (Twitter link via Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL.com).
  • A.J. Klein, LB (Saints): Four years, $24MM. $4MM signing bonus. $9.4MM guaranteed. 2020 season will void Klein is on Saints roster on last day of 2019 league year (via Nick Underhill of the Advocate).
  • Jeff Locke, P (Colts): Two years, $3.45MM. $1.25MM guaranteed (Twitter links via Ben Goessling of ESPN.com and Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star).
  • Ryan Mallett, QB (Ravens): One year, $2MM. $1MM signing bonus (Twitter link via Pelissero).
  • Akeem Spence, DL (Lions): Three years, $9MM. $3.5MM guaranteed. $1MM available via escalators (Twitter link via Peliserro).
  • D.J. Swearinger, S (Redskins): Three years, $13.5MM. $9MM guaranteed (Twitter link via Kinkhabwala).

Ravens Re-Sign Ryan Mallett

The Ravens have agreed to re-sign backup quarterback Ryan Mallett. Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link) first reported the news.

Ryan Mallett

Mallett also had interest from the Jets, Bears, and 49ers and was mulling opportunities with all four clubs as recently as Wednesday night, according to Dianna Russini of ESPN.com (Twitter link) On Thursday, he reached a decision.

Next season will be the third campaign in Baltimore for Mallett, who first joined the team late in 2015. Mallett had previous stops in New England, which chose him in the third round of the 2011 draft, and Houston.

The ex-Arkansas star attempted only four passes as a member of the Patriots, with whom he backed up Tom Brady, before garnering more playing time as a Texan. The 6-foot-6, 240-pounder fared poorly in Houston, though, as he completed just 53.6 percent of passes, threw five touchdowns against six interceptions, and averaged only 5.3 yards per attempt across nine appearances and six starts. His tenure there ended shortly after he overslept and missed a team charter flight.

Now 28, Mallett hasn’t been particularly effective with the Ravens in six games and two starts (59.2 percent completion rate, two TDs against three picks, and 5.7 YPA), but the team is apparently comfortable with him in a reserve role behind Joe Flacco.

Ravens Trying To Re-Sign Williams, Mallett

As of earlier Wednesday, it appeared impending free agent defensive tackle Brandon Williams was definitely on his way out of Baltimore, but that’s not the case, tweets Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun. The Ravens are still working to re-sign Williams before the market opens Thursday.

Brandon Williams (Vertical)[RELATED: Ravens To Sign Tony Jefferson]

The 28-year-old Williams has so far spent his entire career with the Ravens, who selected him in the third round of the 2013 draft. Williams has been durable, having appeared in 16 games in each of the past three seasons, and productive. In addition to piling up 16 starts for the second straight year, he ranked as Pro Football Focus‘ 39th-best D-tackle among 127 qualifiers last season.

Along with Williams, the Ravens are attempting to re-up a lower priority free agent-to-be in quarterback Ryan Mallett, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports (Twitter link). After stints with New England and Houston, Mallett joined the Ravens late in the 2015 season and served as Joe Flacco‘s primary backup last year. In six appearances (two starts) with Baltimore, the 28-year-old has posted a 59.2 percent completion rate, two touchdowns against three interceptions, and 5.7 yards per attempt.


Top 2017 Free Agents By Position 2.0: Offense

NFL free agency is right around the corner! The legal tampering period starts on Tuesday and free agency officially starts on Thursday. The list of available free agents will change between now and then as players re-sign with teams or get cut loose, but we have a pretty good idea of who will be available right now. After looking at the top defensive players, we now shift our attention to the other side of the ball.

Here are our rankings for the top 15 free agents at each position. The rankings aren’t determined by earning power, they are simply the players we like the most at each position, with a combination of short- and long-term value taken into account. You won’t find restricted free agents or franchise tagged guys here since they are unlikely to go leave their current clubs.

Player evaluation is always subjective, so we encourage you to make your voices heard in the comments section in cases where you disagree with us.

Here’s our breakdown of the current top 15 free agents by offensive position for 2017:

Updated 3-7-2017, 2:55pm CT


  1. Mike Glennon
  2. Nick Foles
  3. Brian Hoyer (story)
  4. Ryan Fitzpatrick
  5. Colin Kaepernick
  6. Josh McCown
  7. Case Keenum
  8. Matt McGloin
  9. Mark Sanchez
  10. Ryan Mallett
  11. Christian Ponder
  12. Blaine Gabbert
  13. Geno Smith
  14. Matt Schaub (story)
  15. EJ Manuel

Honorable mention: Ryan Nassib, Landry JonesShaun Hill Mike Glennon (vertical)

Colin Kaepernick’s agents have (wisely) let everyone know that their client will stand for the National Anthem in 2017. That may seem like a minor point, but teams say they would have automatically removed him from consideration if he continued his attention-grabbing protest. He grabbed headlines for his actions on the sidelines last year, but he actually turned in an OK season. From a football standpoint, Kaepernick would make sense for a lot of teams as a QB2 with upside.

Interestingly, this list includes three quarterbacks who couldn’t cut it as the Jets’ starter and three rejects from the 49ers. They say that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure and all six of those players (Ryan Fitzpatrick, Kaepernick, Mark Sanchez, Geno Smith, Christian Ponder, Blaine Gabbert) come with varying degrees of potential and proven effectiveness. Smith, somehow, could reportedly be retained by the Jets and installed as the starter in 2017.

Ryan Nassib is just outside of the top 15 here with EJ Manuel getting the final spot. Despite positive word about his play in practice, Nassib is unproven and the Giants’ apparent lack of interest in re-signing him says a lot. It’s also possible that he might not be 100% after ending the 2016 season on IR with an elbow injury. Manuel, for all his warts, has shown potential in small bursts.

Running back:

  1. Eddie Lacy
  2. Adrian Peterson
  3. LeGarrette Blount
  4. Latavius Murray
  5. Jamaal Charles
  6. Darren McFadden
  7. Jacquizz Rodgers
  8. Rex Burkhead
  9. Rashad Jennings
  10. Danny Woodhead
  11. Tim Hightower
  12. DeAngelo Williams
  13. Andre Ellington
  14. Chris Johnson
  15. Christine Michael

Honorable mention: Robert Turbin, Travaris Cadet, Benny Cunningham, Lance Dunbar, Bobby Rainey, Brandon BoldenDenard Robinson, James Starks

Adrian Peterson (vertical)As expected, the Vikings have cut Adrian Peterson loose and he is expected to garner interest from contending clubs this week. Some might peg Peterson as the most talented running back in this year’s free agent class, but it all comes down to how you weigh his age and injury history. Peterson has shocked the football world in the past with an incredible comeback, but I’m a little skeptical of his ability to do it again in his age-32 season. Eddie Lacy, who has injury question marks of his own, takes the top spot at the position.

The Patriots believe they won’t be able to match the offers that come in LeGarrette Blount‘s direction. Latavius Murray could circle back to the Raiders, but he won’t be agreeing to a deal with them before free agency opens on Thursday.

Jamaal Charles has the most impressive resume of anyone on this list, with the exception of Peterson. However, no one knows exactly what he can do after playing eight games in the last two years. He’ll turn 31 in December and that’s usually not an indicator of success for running backs.

Read more

Ravens Rumors: Wallace, Mallett, Wagner

In Indianapolis today, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh fielded a wide range of questions from reporters about the offseason. Here’s a quick look at the highlights:

  • Ravens coach John Harbaugh says his “anticipation” is that Mike Wallace will remain with the team (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Jamison Hensley). Wallace, who has an $8MM cap figure for 2017, has been considered a potential cap cut. That number is the fifth-highest on the team as of this writing.
  • Harbaugh said the Ravens are negotiating to bring back quarterback Ryan Mallett (Twitter link via Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun). We ranked Mallett as one of the ten best quarterbacks in free agency last month. He may slide a bit down the list with the expected additions of QBs like Tyrod Taylor, Tony Romo, and Colin Kaepernick.
  • Harbaugh said the franchise tag is not in play for Brandon Williams or any other Ravens free agent, Zrebiec tweets. On Wednesday morning, we heard that the Ravens will not apply the tag to the defensive tackle. The Ravens also have a priority free agent in tackle Ricky Wagner, but the one-year tender is a bit too pricey for him as well.

Top 2017 NFL Free Agents By Position: Offense


NFL free agency will get underway on Thursday, March 9th, and while the list of free agents will change between now and then, we do have some idea of who will be available when free agency kicks off. The frenzy is right around the corner and it’s time for us to break down the outlook for each position. We’ll start today on offense, before getting to defense and special teams later this week.

Listed below are our rankings for the top 15 free agents at each offensive position. The rankings aren’t necessarily determined by the value of the contracts that each player is expected to land in free agency, they are simply the players we like the most at each position, with both short- and long-term value taken into account. Restricted and exclusive-rights free agents are not listed here since they are unlikely to actually reach the open market.

We’ll almost certainly be higher or lower on some guys than you are, so we encourage you to make your voice heard in our comments section to let us know which free agents we’ve got wrong.

Here’s our breakdown of the current top 15 free agents by offensive position for 2017:


  1. Kirk Cousins
  2. Mike Glennon
  3. Nick Foles
  4. Brian Hoyer
  5. Ryan Fitzpatrick
  6. Case Keenum
  7. Matt McGloin
  8. Mark Sanchez
  9. Geno Smith
  10. Ryan Mallett
  11. Josh McCown
  12. Christian Ponder
  13. Blaine Gabbert
  14. Matt Schaub
  15. Ryan Nassib

Honorable mention: Shaun Hill

As of this writing, Kirk Cousins is far and away the best potential free agent quarterback in this year’s crop. By the time March gets here, we’re fully expecting Cousins to be spoken for. Ultimately, the Redskins could franchise tag him, work out a long-term deal with him, or swing some type of trade that nets them a massive haul of talent and picks. That will leave a crop of retread quarterbacks that would probably best serve as transitional options for QB-needy teams. Kirk Cousins

Mike Glennon hasn’t done much in his 18 career starts, but talent evaluators are still in love with his size and potential. The 6’7″ quarterback will get more money this spring than you might expect, particularly since there are no surefire QBs in this year’s draft.

Teams looking for stopgap QBs will find a plethora of experienced, though perhaps uninspiring, signal callers. Nick Foles, Brian Hoyer, and Ryan Fitzpatrick all have their best football behind them, but they could hold down the fort for a team in 2017 and maybe even find some success if the defense is strong enough. Of course, the ideal role for those guys would probably be as a backup to a better, younger quarterback.

Running back:

  1. Le’Veon Bell
  2. Eddie Lacy
  3. LeGarrette Blount
  4. Latavius Murray
  5. Darren McFadden
  6. Jacquizz Rodgers
  7. Rashad Jennings
  8. Danny Woodhead
  9. Rex Burkhead
  10. Tim Hightower
  11. DeAngelo Williams
  12. Andre Ellington
  13. Chris Johnson
  14. Christine Michael
  15. Robert Turbin

Consider Le’Veon Bell‘s name written in Etch-A-Sketch, because he is very unlikely to get near the open market. That could leave Eddie Lacy as the best tailback available in March. Lacy has struggled with weight issues in recent years and he lost much of the 2016 season to injury. Still, he is a bruising back that could nicely complement a quicker ball carrier. Before he was shut down for the year, Lacy was averaging 5.07 yards per carry in five games for Green Bay.

LeGarrette Blount (vertical)In the last two years, LeGarrette Blount seems to have put his off-the-field troubles behind him. Whether that’s a sign of his maturity or a product of the Patriots’ culture remains to be seen. Teams can ignore his past indiscretions, but they will be wary of his age. Blount turns 31 in December.

Latavius Murray has shown glimpses of being a special running back, but he has been inconsistent and his 4.0 yards-per-carry average of the last two years isn’t overly impressive. Darren McFadden ran for more than 1,000 yards in 2015, but 2016 was pretty much a lost year for him. Jacquizz Rodgers seemed to break out last year, but he wound up succumbing to the same injury bug that took down a host of other Buccaneers running backs. Speaking of injuries, Rashad Jennings was initially brought to the Giants to be a workhorse back, but two of his three years in New York were marred by ailments. Everyone in this tier has the potential to make a difference, but none should be counted on as anyone’s main guy in 2017.

Read more