Mallett gets verbal bump from Belichick

Mallett gets verbal bump from Belichick
March 19, 2013, 12:45 pm
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PHOENIX - The NFL Draft is a little more than a month away and there will be no drastic improvement in the quarterback crop between now and then.

Which means that backups like Ryan Mallett will remain intriguing trade targets for teams desperate to find a guy to run their offense.

At the AFC Coaches Breakfast Tuesday morning, Bill Belichick seemed to pump up the price for Mallett if anyone came calling for the 2011 third-rounder.

"Ryan improved a lot last year," said Belichick. "He really had a good season. I think he was like every player that came out in the '11 draft, they had a lack of preparation heading into the season but last year I think he really performed well."

When it was mentioned that there were likely teams around the league who'd be happy to have a player of Mallett's resume and potential on their roster, Belichick responded, "I can't comment on that. I'm glad he plays for our team."

Belichick was also asked about quarterback Mike Kafka, whom the team signed in January. The 6-foot-3, 225-pound Kafka was drafted by the Eagles in the fourth round of the 2010 draft. He was expected to be the Eagles backup in 2012, but a broken hand at the start of camp waylaid his chances and he was released at the end of August.

"We evaluated him out of the draft," Belichick said of Kafka. "Smart guy who had production in a good conference. Was injured last year but then was really healthy all year. He's a player we talked about signing during the season but since we only carried two quarterbacks . . . we really haven't had much exposure to him other than a workout, film and conversations when we signed him."