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Mayock: Pats' Ryan Mallett is a legitimate starting QB

After working out for the New England Patriots last week, free agent Brady Quinn hinted that a trade would have to happen for the Pats to sign him.

If Bill Belichick's phone starts buzzing with trade feelers, he can thank NFL Media analyst Mike Mayock for hyping backup quarterback Ryan Mallett on Monday's edition of Inside Training Camp Live.

"I was blown away today. I saw a legitimate NFL starting quarterback today backing up Tom Brady," Mayock said after Monday's scrimmage versus the Redskins. "So as the season progresses and we get closer to draft time and what the Patriots can or can't do with him, I think they drafted Jimmy Garoppolo for a reason, as an insurance policy. But trust me, Ryan Mallett's a starting quarterback in this league, and he popped today."

Although Mayock witnessed just one practice against a second-team defense, the Boston Herald's Jeff Howe confirmed that Mallett is having his best training camp this summer.

Mayock isn't alone in his assessment of Mallett as a future NFL starter.

Buccaneers All Pro defensive tackle Gerald McCoy told the Dave Dameshek Football Program this offseason that Mallett is "going to be special whoever he plays for."

"He's a Tom Brady in the making. And I really love Tom Brady," McCoy said. "I've watched (Mallett) prepare in practice over the past couple of years. And my respect for that guy went to an all-time high because I've watched."

Belichick stated in May that the Patriots are not *that* interested in trading Mallett.

After watching second-round draft pick Jimmy Garoppolostrugglein the first week of camp, a Super Bowl contender shouldn't feel any urgency to deal its premium-quarterback insurance.

Of course, that stance is subject to change if another team loses a starting quarterback to injury during preseason action.

The latest Around The League Podcast makes sense of Andy Dalton's new contract and takes a look at the Giants' evolving backfield.

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