Open Thread: Quarterback Controversy?

Ryan Mallett Patriots

Having three good quarterbacks is a good problem.

Much has been made about the performance of backup quarterbacks Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett over the last few days.

With both signal-callers performing well in the 47-12 pre-season victory over the Jaguars, some are even calling for one of them to be traded.

Decisions, decisions.

While we would caution before jumping to conclusions after a pre-season game against an over-matched opponent, we were very impressed with how Hoyer and Mallett have played.

We were not, however, surprised. Hoyer has developed very well over the last few years, and Mallett was a top 15 player for us last year.

This sort of abundance of talent at the quarterback position makes fans antsy, where the see under-utilized talent that could be traded away for other pieces of the puzzle – such as another pass-rusher or corner.

So what will the Patriots do with their quarterback “problem”? We say nothing.

Keeping Hoyer and Mallett as backups this season just makes sense. If a backup quarterback is pressed into action, you want Brian Hoyer in there to give a team that is loaded in other areas the best chance to succeed.

You also want to keep Mallett around. In our opinion, Mallett is a franchise quarterback – whether it be in New England or elsewhere.

In the spring of 2012, the Patriots can begin to quietly shop Hoyer (who will be a RFA) around for the right price – likely a 3rd rounder and change. Those asking for a 1st-rounder (or more) aren’t going to find that market.

Kevin Kolb, Matt Cassel, and Charlie Whitehurst are the closest comparisons you could make, and none of them went for a first.

What would you do with Hoyer and Mallet in 2011 and beyond?

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26 Responses to “Open Thread: Quarterback Controversy?”

  1. John says:

    Trade Hoyer asap. We don’t need to carry three and usually haven’t. Use the roster spot for something better. If TB goes down, a) Mallet will be better than Hoyer before 6 quarters as a starter and b) Mallet is talented enough that if you lose 4-6 games while he comes up to speed, there’s a chance he is worth the investment. Hoyer is probably at 80% of his potential right now.

  2. psw says:

    Don’t forget, there is a long history of other teams desperately grabbing N.E. left overs. They respect the teaching and coaching that goes on here. Also Matt Cassel set a precedent that N.E. backup QB’s have value. If Hoyer draws and offer of a 2nd rounder or a 3rd and a second pick or player, he could go.

  3. Liam says:

    I agree. Extremely unlikely that we’d get the sort of value that would make it worth our while to trade either of them at this stage. Kolb got 1st round value (DRC + 2nd>1st), but he had several regular season starts under his belt. Keep ’em both, maybe give ’em both some regular season action (especially Hoyer) and see how it shakes out next year.

    Unless a stupid team comes up with an insane offer. It’s happened before.

  4. AP says:

    None of them went for a 1st rounder? Kolb went for DRC and a 2nd rounder!

    I would take that deal! haha…

    I don’t expect Hoyer to get that much – especially if he doesn’t get to see the field in the regular season (which I obviously hope he doesn’t because that means Brady … I won’t say it… =)

    Also, Hoyer was supposed to be drafted, 4th round or so… went undrafted and immediately showed skills… yet again teams don’t seem to scout well when it comes to the QB position.

    The success of Cassel will help, but also competition will be how Matt Flynn in GB plays this preseason… the other QB factory team in the league.

  5. Ratzalot says:

    How does a no-name like Brian Hoyer have any trade value without Brady going down and him coming in to lead the offense to a post-season berth? Saying he has trade value because of his time in NE is like saying Jim Sorgi should have been traded for a 2nd/3rd round draft pick. I’m not trying be negative about the guy, but this talk would get laughed at at I’m all for being an optimistic Patriots fan, but this just seems to be way over the top. With that said, I trust BB’s judgement that Hoyer is a talented and worthy back-up QB to Brady. But let’s be honest, he’s a back-up and probably always will be. The Matt Cassel situation was an anomaly, but seems to be the expectation now.

    As for Ryan Mallett, I think most would agree the Patriots got a draft steal. I agree with Dan and his comparison to Aaron Rodgers. The kid has obvious super star potential. Unless Tom Brady pulls a Favre and plays until he’s 70 years old or Mallett upsetting BB, I foresee Mallett being the Patriots’ next franchise QB.

    • NEPD says:

      Look up Charlie Whitehurst.

      • Ratzalot says:

        In the words of Walt from, “I’ve been debacled!” Quoting Michael Lombardi at, “…current No. 2 Brian Hoyer also played really well. The third-year pro has the look of a bona fide NFL starter.” Is this the beginning of the hype that will be necessary to sucker a team into giving up a nice draft pick? BB does seem to have the ability to convince Undead Al into any trade. I’d also say Buffalo is an option, but they don’t care about franchise QBs. They are more interested in pass-catchin’ running backs. LMAO! I’m all for the Patriots getting something in a trade for Hoyer, but I try to believe other teams aren’t so gullible to hype. I guess I should be happy with the Lombardi’s praise of Hoyer and the comfort knowing he is Brady’s back-up.

        As for Charlie Whitehurst, I have no explanation other than he was a third round draft choice. I knew you would bring him into the discussion. LOL. My (I believe) rational thinking often gets trumped by silly, desperate teams. There’s a reason certain teams are annual losers and others are annual post-season players.

  6. Jon says:

    I don’t even see why this discussion is happening.

    Brady is top of the depth chart. If he goes down you want Hoyer to be there to plug in given his experience and command of the offense. If you shop him around you do it next spring after he’s played in the remaining preseason games and had the chance to spell Brady during the regular season.

    Mallet is either a) Brady’s successor or b) a franchise QB elsewhere years from now. They can trade him if they want, but right now he’s only potentially worth the third rounder the Pats used to select him. If he stays in the system for a few years his value will spike.

    Bottom line – Pats keep all three.

  7. steve A Hog Fan says:

    When Hillis (Peyton) went in the 7th round in ’08, I said Denver got a steal. When Mallett went in the 3rd this year, I could not believe the stupidity of those who passed on him. After watching him for two years in college, there is not a throw he can’t make and he reads a defense like Feynman understood quantum mechanics. Don’t make the same mistake Josh McDaniels made–NE should keep the boy wonder. WPS.

    • Dan says:

      Mallett isn’t going anywhere; he’ll be here for a few years, and his future here will come down to (his play, obviously), Brady’s decison to keep playing, and Brady’s health. There’s no rush; in fact, look at Rogers…it’s an ideal situation.

      The biggest mistake many teams make is throwing young QB’s to wolves, and I HATE the saying, “you pay them to play, they won’t learn anything on the sidelines” etc…

      Teams are desperate, the GM’s, coaches and owners…they need to win…they need QB’s, and they are forced to draft them high, and then play them; especially under the old rookie salary cap. The ideal situation for any QB is to sit behind a star QB, with a better coach, and not have the pressure to go out there and win games. They can learn the game, gain some confidence, grow up a little (Mallett may be a prime example), then be more ready to do the job.

  8. John Major says:

    Unless there is a team out there that will overpay with a very high draft choice for Hoyer or Mallet, it would make sense to wait until the spring of 2012 to make a trade. The Patriots definitely have the talent to win the Super Bowl this year. Their main objective should be to enter the playoffs as healthy as possible. If they lock up a playoff spot early they should play their bench players more. Also, if they are blowing out an opponent they should put in their second stringers to avoid an unnecessary injury to one of their starters. Statistics mean absolutely nothing if you lose the first game in the playoffs. What I’m saying is I don’t want to see Tom Brady with 4,000 passing yards and 50 TD’s. I want to see Hoyer and Mallet get some playing time when they lock up a playoff spot or blowout an opponent. I really think the Patriots are THAT GOOD! It’s a great dilema to be in. If Hoyer and Mallet play well in regular season games, their value will be greater next spring. I’m picking the Patriots to win the Super Bowl this year because they improved their starters and have way better depth.

    • Dan says:

      I’m a huge BB fan, but there are two things about him that bother me:

      #1. He leaves his starters in the game way too long. Brady doesn’t like to give up snaps, or whatever, but he should be on the sideline when it’s a blow-out. I know the different reasons…never play thinking of being injured, don’t give up snaps to back-ups, learn knew plays & work on things etc…Sometimes it goes too far.

      #2. He likes Jon Bon Jovi’s music.

      • TD says:

        He also likes Tom Petty. I think he’s a believer in keeping the players sharp with extended playing time.

        Also, in 2007 I think he had a really big axe to grind with the whole league after the Spygate fiasco and was fixed on showing that tape or no tape they could dominate.

      • cc says:

        Ha-ha! (bonjovi fan…….) HA-ha! Agreed.

        *I have to agree also with leaving Brady in too long sometimes especially when considering it’s a blow out, or other premier guys regarding them being hurt and loosing them for a number of games or being at 1/2 mass for a number of games if they did get injured when 15 or 22 points up…

        This would certainly be the year to take a guy like Brady out early if we are blowing the opossing team out. ** It would give a chance for Hoyer to play in real cituations and give him some time he needs to shine a bit. He is a free agent next year I believe(?), so why not give him some playing time to up the price on his future possable departure?
        Also, even though I didn’t like personally the extra running back pick as well as the extra QB pick initially since as most would have liked to see a stud type OLB taken instead or even a stud type O-line man to replace the retirement of and the cutting of…. I like Mallet. He’s got good promise. I’d say keep all three, Pull Brady as much as possable and let Hoyer shine a bit so he gets a better price torward the end of his contract and let Mallet learn from them both in the meantime.

        Kudos again on the bonjovi comment!!!! 2funny

  9. JMC says:

    You don’t start trading players away after one pre-season game.
    For 2011, they should both stay.

    No doubt Hoyer could start somewhere (now). I think he’s at least as good or better than Matt Cassell.

    • TD says:

      How can you say that?

      Matt has played 3 full NFL seasons, last year he had something like 27td’s & 6 int’s, while Hoyer filed his finger nails on the sideline.

  10. Tom Tuner says:

    Stop using “we” when it’s your opinion. It’s “I”

    I understand you’re trying to emulate the style of Mike Florio, but you have to use it carefully. Not everything is “we.”

    “While we would caution before jumping to conclusions after a pre-season game against an over-matched opponent, we were very impressed with how Hoyer and Mallett have played.”

    That sentence would sound better with “I,” especially the second part. Since you almost entirely blog by yourself on this website (with Doug Kyed occassionally writing), this would be the equivalent of me saying “we think you should stop writing with ‘we,’ it doesn’t sound right.”

    Seriously, please take my advice. This style you have adopted is hurting the quality of your writing.

    • Tyjax says:

      tool ^

    • Tyjax says:

      wow chill out, if you don’t like the writing style don’t come to the website, no one needs you here…

    • Dan says:

      Sounds like good, constructive criticism to me; from someone who thinks the site could be better. I happen to agree…these are all opinions, as is this entry. I like this site, have been on it now for a few years (last year under the name “Steve”, if the Butler bashing rings a bell?), so I believe it would help.

    • NEPD says:

      Tom, Dan – critique is always welcome. Feel free to send more thoughts for improvement to my e-mail and I’d be happy to chat with you.

  11. Nick75 says:

    Either of these two Qbs should have the same goal “to be a starter” for them to take the time to learn from TB and BB would only benefit them in the long run and the team for back up purposes but the value can sometimes out weight the need only BB knows what will happen.

  12. TD says:

    What QB controversy?

    Brady is tops at his craft
    Hoyer has been here for 3 yrs
    Mallett is a rookie.

    Even in Hoyer’s rookie year, BB said he made the right reads. Mallett is getting extensive time to see what they will do with him. He may come up with a (cough, cough) injury and land on IR.

    • NEPD says:

      Not a controversy of who will play, but a controversy of what will they do with their QBs.

      • Dan says:

        Question: Can a player practice if on IR? I suppose not, but what can they do with the team for the year, physically? If the answer is no I would say they won’t put him on IR; they’ll want him to be practicing with the Brady & Hoyer…developing.

        I agree…no controversy…just a very interesting possibility, and a very valuable roster spot that is needed; especially this year with the “new” defense.

        It’s a great thing for each player and for the franchise, but the fans will create a controversy.

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