Ryan Mallett, third round draft pick
Played four games with no starts with the Pats who traded him to the Texans for a conditional 6th or 7th round pick. Worth it? The Texans didn’t think so. They released him after he missed the team flight to a game in Miami. He had a career-best year with the Ravens last year with a QB rating of 74.5 in two games which he started.
Brian Hoyer, undrafted free agent
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Played 13 games with no starts for the Pats who released him. Since then Hoyer has gone on to have 26 starts in 31 games for five different teams, including the Bears. Widely panned by Jay Cutler haters everywhere as possibly “even worse than Cutler”, despite putting up very Cutler-like numbers in Houston last year.
Matt Cassel, 7th round draft pick
Played 30 games with 15 starts with the Pats, filling in for injured Tom Brady for the entire 2008 season. Widely hailed at that point as the second coming of the messiah, the Pats traded him (and Mike Vrabel) to Kansas City for a second-round pick. Worth it? He went 4-11 in his first season with the Chiefs, came back with a Pro Bowl (Alternate, backing up Tom Brady again) season and a playoff loss. Two more poor seasons and he was released by the Chiefs. Since the one playoff season in KC, he has not played in more than nine games in a season, and only posted a QB rating over 80 once (81.6 in 2013 through 9 games, 6 starts with the Vikings.)
Prior to Cassel we have Matt Gutierrez, Kevin O’Connell, Rohan Davey and Zac Robinson all of whom were released and none of whom ever played significant roles for any team in the NFL. So, yes, prior to Garappolo, 2 out of the last 3 backup QBs from the Patriots have been traded for draft picks. But that is 2 out of the last 7 if you look a little further. I’ll even give you 2 out of 5 if you want to ignore UFAs and just count draft picks. Heck, that’s 2 in a row if you want to be both near-sighted and a cherry picker.
But the much more important question when you are looking at a potential trade from the Bears’ end of the deal, how many of those recycled Patriots QBs have been worth the price? Been counting all day and I’m still at ZERO. How many draft picks would you have been willing to give up for Brian Hoyer? Would you trade a first rounder for Jacoby Brissett? He came in for Garoppolo and looked pretty good, and he’s a rookie. Doesn’t that mean he’s even more talented than Garoppolo? No, it means he plays for Bill Belichick.