Cleveland Browns now expected to go after Ryan Mallett


The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported on more than one occasion that the Cleveland Browns would likely not try to pry Ryan Mallett from the New England Patriots, but that doesn’t appear to be the case anymore. According to a source close to the Plain Dealer’s Mary Kay Cabot, the Browns are expected to go after Mallett, but another source told Cabot that Bill Belichick won’t trade him.

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I honestly think Belichick will trade Mallett, but that’s only if the price is right. Unfortunately for the Browns, that might not be the case for Michael Lombardi and Rob Chudzinski if they do indeed want to get Mallett. The Browns lost their second-round draft choice by adding Josh Gordon in the supplemental draft, and the Patriots will most likely not trade Mallett if it involves anything less than a second-round draft choice.

This is because the Patriots are probably higher on Ryan Mallett than any other team in the NFL- even the Cleveland Browns. Brian Daboll has sung praises of Mallett’s ability, and the team has invested significant time in their young backup, who looks like a steal with the third-round pick.

The Arkansas product could still end up in Cleveland, but the Browns will have to give up several mid-round picks in order to do this. The problem is if the Patriots are willing to except a quantity of picks over quality, but this draft is deep and the Pats are in a severe shortage of mid-round draft picks. I would keep tabs on this, and I bet the Patriots will be a lot more willing to trade Mallett if they can sign Matt Cassel.

But here’s one thing that downplays that whole Cassel angle, and that is the fact that the Patriots might actually value Mallett more than Cassel. Any why not? Mallett is younger, has more upside, and didn’t have a poor 2012 season. Although Cassel has more experience, production, and is thus a known commodity, Daboll did say that Mallett could have started over Cassel and Brady Quinn if he played for the Kansas City Chiefs this past season.

Unproven but intriguing New Orleans Saints backup Chase Daniel, comeback-hopeful Vince Young, and former Browns and current Carolina Panthers backup Derek Anderson (who could once again follow Chud to a new team) are all listed by the Cleveland Plain Dealer as potential targets for the Browns.

You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.