AFC East: trade market

The Patriots' three-year contract extension with quarterback Tom Brady paves the way for the future Hall of Famer to stay in New England for five more seasons. Brady, health permitting, expects to retire a Patriot.

But what does this mean for young New England backup quarterback Ryan Mallett?

The 2011 third-round pick has been Brady’s understudy for two seasons. Mallett has a strong arm and could intrigue quarterback-needy teams in the trade market this offseason.

Considering Brady's extension was fully guaranteed, he is expected to be under center for the Patriots through the 2017 season. Mallett is only under contract through the 2014 season.

The Boston Herald reports that the Patriots are not actively shopping Mallett, but that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t listen if another team blows their doors off. A second-rounder or multiple picks could make trading Mallett hard to resist. That would be tremendous value for a backup quarterback with just four career passing attempts.

New England has a good quarterback situation with Brady and Mallett. But backup quarterbacks are not hard to replace if New England feels that trading Mallett could boost weaker areas of the team.

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