Mallett would be a good return for Tebow

March, 20, 2012
3/20/12
9:05
PM ET

There has been some talk that the New England Patriots could join the list of teams interested in Denver quarterback Tim Tebow.

Josh McDaniels, who drafted Tebow in 2010, is now New England’s offensive coordinator. If the Patriots do pursue Tebow, I think Denver should inquire about third-string quarterback Ryan Mallett. The Patriots picked Mallett in the third round last season after he tumbled in the draft.

I’ve been asked about a possible Mallett-Tebow trade often and I think it makes sense for the Broncos. The Broncos will likely look for a veteran to back up Peyton Manning (Billy Volek, anyone?) and for a young quarterback to groom. Like Manning, Mallett is a good, strong-armed quarterback. Like he did in New England last year under Tom Brady, Mallett could learn and grow under Manning.

Manning should be a solid starter for at least the next three years. Mallet would have plenty of time to study the game from perhaps the most detail-oriented and intelligent quarterback of all time.

Mallett is not going to be in the Patriots’ immediate plans, so if they wanted to get in on Tebowmania, he would be a worthwhile price. If the Patriots were to offer Mallett for Tebow, I’d think the Broncos would have to consider it. I don’t see them getting many better offers.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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