Former New England Patriots quarterback Ryan Mallett died of apparent drowning

DESTIN, Florida – Ryan Mallett, the former New England Patriots backup quarterback who also played for Houston and Baltimore during five seasons in the NFL, has passed away. He was 35 years old.

Mallett died of apparent drowning on Tuesday in Destin, Florida, according to Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, Investigators said a group of people were reportedly struggling to get back to shore in the water near the sand on the beach. A man, later identified as Mallett, went down and lifeguards said he was not breathing when he was pulled out.

He was declared dead in the hospital.

Mallett was a football coach at White Hall High School in his native Arkansas, and the school district also confirmed his death Tuesday in a post on its website.

Arkansas athletic director Hunter Yurachek said the university “lost an incredibly special person.”

“Our condolences and prayers are with Ryan Mallett’s family, friends and teammates,” Yurachek posted on Twitter.

Mallett played for the University of Michigan for one season before finishing his college career at Arkansas. He passed for 7,493 yards and 62 touchdowns in two seasons with the Razorbacks.

Mallett was selected by New England in the third round of the 2011 NFL Draft. He appeared in four games with the Patriots during the 2012 season, completing 1 of 4 passes for 17 yards while backing up Tom Brady.

Brady posted a tribute to Mallett on Instagram, saying, “We lost a great man. Thanks Ryan for everything.”


Tom Brady – Instagram

Patriots coach Bill Belichick said he was “deeply saddened by the tragic passing of Ryan.”

“My thoughts and prayers are with his family and the many people whose lives he affected,” Belichick said in a statement posted by the team. Twitter,

“Hard to swallow,” former Patriots receiver Julian Edelman Tweeted,

“Rest in peace Ryan Mallett!” Former New Englander is backing James White wrote, “Gone too soon, sending my condolences to his family!”

Mallett made six starts in nine games with the Texans and two starts in eight games with the Ravens. He completed 190 of his 345 attempts for nine touchdowns, leading the NFL in 1,835 yards and 10 interceptions.

“Ryan was a part of us,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said in a team Twitter post. “I will always remember his love for his teammates and thoroughly enjoy every football day I am here.”

Former Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks, a lifelong friend of Mallett, said on Twitter that he had lost his “best friend”.

In his first start on November 16, 2014, Mallett led Houston to a 23–7 victory in Cleveland. His first career TD pass was a 2-yarder to defensive end JJ Watt.

“Horrible news to read about Ryan Mallett,” Watt posted on Twitter. “Gone too soon. Rest in peace brother.”

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