NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported that Mallett will start in place of Tom Brady in the New England Patriots' preseason opener against the Washington Redskins, per a source informed of the move. The Boston Herald's Jeff Howe first reported the news.
Brady has skipped the preseason opener in the past (2005, 2008, 2011), so this isn't exactly a revelation. Plus, Brady practiced all week against the Redskins' defense -- reportedly going 60-of-80 passing in drills -- and the team feels comfortable with his progress and rhythm.
Barring a catastrophic preseason injury, a trade at this stage appears doubtful -- if a team hasn't stepped up to pay the Patriots' asking price, what sort of performance could spur action? However, it provides a chance for Mallett to show his worth on the open market next offseason.