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Dolphins reportedly coveted Mallett but couldn't strike deal

The Miami Dolphins know how it feels to finish second to New England, and the Patriots' drafting of Ryan Mallett served as a fresh reminder.

*The Miami Herald* reported that the Dolphins attempted to move into the NFL draft's third round Friday to select Mallett, the Arkansas quarterback who ultimately went to the Patriots with the 74th overall pick.

"We were willing to take him, we just couldn't get our hands on him," a source with knowledge of the front office's thinking told the newspaper. "We tried, but we couldn't do it. He's going to be a good quarterback."

With the Patriots, the 6-foot-6 quarterback has the luxury of time, learning from NFL MVP Tom Brady and coach Bill Belichick. In Miami, where starter Chad Henne appears to be on the ropes, there might have been pressure to perform this season, and a source told the newspaper that the Dolphins lacked a clear-enough vision about how Mallett would fit into their offense. Mallett's reported character issues also were a concern.

"There are questions there," a team source told The Herald.

The newspaper learned that the Dolphins spent time before the draft looking for a successful NFL quarterback with the same "personality and approach" as Mallett, but they couldn't come up with a prototype.

While some view Mallett as an heir apparent to Brady, who recently signed a four-year extension that runs through 2014, Brady told NFL Network analyst Kurt Warner that he is "planning on playing 10 more years."

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