The Patriots may have been trying to showcase backup quarterback Ryan Mallett for a trade. His performance in the first preseason game (5-for-12, 55 yards, no touchdowns), a 23-6 loss to Washington, didn't help.
Albert Breer of the NFL Network tweeted quotes from an unnamed AFC general manager about Mallet, and specifically, the fourth-year backup's trade value. Among other things the GM said "nobody Pats-related" has sought Mallett:
"[Trade value?] Low. The fact that nobody Pats-related ever went after him speaks volumes..."
"Would seem to make sense to watch him play in preseason first to gauge where he is in the development process. New England has invested a lot of time in him. If they were really high on him, they would not have drafted one this year, pending UFA [unrestricted free agent] or not.”