Cleveland is FAR from competing. If they were interested in keeping players that draw fans, they wouldn't have dealt Richardson 2 game sin to the season. A TE, by contrast, doesn't get too many fans excited. Especially with no QB, and Josh Gordon outside.
I think, for the right offer, he could be had. Celveland needs EVERYTHING...so, mostly, they need draft picks. Now, and in the future, to have any chance.
Also...they need a QB.
Pats can fill both of those needs for them.
Would you rather Johnny "LOOK AT ME" Football, Teddy Bridgewater, or a guy who has sat behind Brady, and watched the inner working of the NFL for multiple seasons now?
Offer Mallet, plus a pick or 2, and see if you can pry this kid from Cleveland. He fits that same need I was lusting for when talking Jimmy Graham, but for a FAR lower price-tag.
Scott Chandler is a FA. I want him. No idea how much he costs. Great size, solid talent. Good blocker. He's torched the Pats a few time right down the seam, which is where the Pats aren't good lately.
Dennis Pitta! Talent is undeniable. I wonder what cost there will be...and to be honest, at this point, I think the Pats are at critical mass with injury concern players. They have too many on the roster already, with a large one at TE. But that talent...he is intriguing.
Brandon Pettigrew. For a first rounder, he's been a bust. I don't love him as a #1 TE, but as a #2? Now we're on to something. Again, has that desirable size, is very athletic...with extremely questionable hands. Few players are perfect, and I like what he offers.
Fred Davis. Not many people know him well. He is freakishly talented. He was stuck behind Cooley, broke out and had a great season and a half, got kind of hurt, then got replaced, and didn't get a shot to get back on the field. I'm not sure how serious the injury concerns are, it doesn't scare me that he got lost in the Shanahanigans. He's a Dallas Clark, receiving only type of TE, but he can line up similarly to Hooman in that he can line up next to the tackle, and also in the backfield...though NOT the blocking threat Hooman is.
I don't want outside threats. I want between the numbers, and down the seam threats. Historically, Brady has done best OVERALL, with those kinds weapons. Brown, Branch, Welker, Gronk, Hernandez ALL worked the middle of the field tremendously well. Patten, Givens, Moss made thier bones outside because of the other options inside.
The offense runs better when they work from the inside out...meaning, DON'T LOOK FOR THE HOME RUN FIRST! Enough with the slow developing, deep routes. It's a waste. It's not Brady's preference. And it's definitely NOT his strength. And, it's easier to defend. It may not make the OC look so great, but it's what works.
TE is a deep position on the market, I hope the Pats bring in some talent at that position. They NEED it with Hern GONE and Gronk out for who knows how long. I'd say half the season at least, maybe the entire thing. I'd like to see 2 healthy, talented TEs take the field Week 1. Fred Davis + Scott Chandler would make me THRILLED. 2 above them would be free agency porn for me.