The reported trade of quarterback Alex Smith to the Kansas City Chiefs on Wednesday may have set the market for two young back-ups, and a venerable wide receiver.
With Tom Brady and the New England Patriots agreeing to a contract extension, the future of Ryan Mallet as a starter looks bleak.
The San Francisco 49ers will receive a second round draft pick and a conditional pick from the Chiefs, and according to the Boston Herald, that might be the floor for New England’s asking price for Mallett even though he has four career pass attempts in two seasons.
The Herald did point out that since Mallett will be a free agent in 2014, teams may hesitate to hand over something as valuable as a draft pick for a still unproven talent that could bolt after one solid season.
Another young back-up that was recently tied to trades was Philadelphia’s Nick Foles. NFL.com reported last week that the Eagles were not interested in moving Foles, as new head coach Chip Kelly wants to work with him. Kansas City head coach Andy Reid, formerly at the helm of Philadelphia for 14 seasons, drafted the promising Foles, and the Chiefs were seen as an obvious trade partner.
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The Eagles may think twice, considering the haul San Francisco brought in for Smith. Foles has had more of a chance to show what he can do as a starter than Mallett. As Michael Vick's replacement in 2012, the 24-year-old completed 161-of-265 pass attempts for 1,699, six touchdowns and five interceptions.
Mallet's value can be calculated by transference. Two years working behind Brady and famed head coach Bill Belichick gives him a leg up most NFL players have never had.
Both Mallett and Foles could help underperforming pass offenses like the Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Jets. Blaine Gabbert has been called a bust by many, and with no college quarterback prospects wowing scouts in the upcoming draft, Jacksonville could be a team seeking a new passer via trade. The Jaguars currenly hold the No. 2 overall pick in the draft.
The Jets have Mark Sanchez, who showed immense poise when he first entered the league. However, Sanchez tossed 18 interceptions compared to 12 touchdowns in 2012, and the Jets were 30th in passing yards per game.
Both the Jaguars and Jets are expected to be on the search for a new starting quarterback, and could consider Mallett and Foles should the right deal work.
Then there’s Minnesota Viking wide receiver Percy Harvin, who is scheduled to be a free agent after next season. Rather than pay the club's leading receiver over the last three seasons, it has been speculated that Minnesota would deal Harvin now to avoid contract negotiations.
Though Vikings general manager Rick Spielman reiterated previous statements at the NFL Combine that Minnesota has no intention of moving Harvin.