Tom Brady’s run of starting preseason openers will come to a sad end tonight, as Ryan Mallett will make the start for New England, according to the Boston Herald. It’s a tradition that goes back to 2012. Where were you the last time Tom Brady did not start the preseason opener? I was probably eating ice cream. (Playing the percentages there.)
Mallett has no doubt earned this opportunity to get traded. As the article notes, he is having the best camp as a Patriot, and has completed over half of his passes during 11-on-11 drills this week in full pads against Washington (13 of 24). That’s, like, the same number of people that play in a game. When the words “best camp” and “13 of 24” appear in the same paragraph, it’s safe to say that Tom Brady is not in danger of getting Wally Pipp’d.
Brady, meanwhile, went 60 for 80 in team drills, which is roughly in “What Eli Manning Will Do This Year” range, and Eli will be playing against teams in real games.
The possibility exists the Pats could unload Mallett before the trade deadline, but the supply and demand will have to match up. If the Patriots believe Jimmy Garoppolo can be a suitable backup in 2014, they’d obviously be more willing to deal Mallett if they find a suitor. Otherwise, the price for Mallett might remain too high.
The Patriots are clearly showcasing someone for a trade here, so yes, this very well could be the first step in the end of an era–the era of Ryan Mallett in New England. Since the supply of Ryan Malletts in the world is essentially set at one until we master cloning, all we need is a one-team demand to match up. That’s harder to find, though, in a world where Scott Pioli is not running a team.