The Browns and Buccaneers are among the league leaders in cap space, but they’re also checking out some smaller deals today.
According to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald, those two teams have inquired about the availability of Patriots backup quarterback Ryan Mallett, though a deal seems unlikely at the moment.
That tells you a few things about the quarterback market, and the desperation therein.
The Browns could use an upgrade or competition for Brandon Weeden, while the Bucs are looking for someone to give Josh Freeman a nudge in a contract year.
To trade for Mallett now would be tough, since his rookie contract can’t be restructured until after this season, and the Patriots wouldn’t be inclined to move him for less than the third they invested in him.
The pending availability of Matt Cassel is also a factor, after the Chiefs traded for Alex Smith and signed free agent Chase Daniel. If the Patriots knew they could get their former backup back in the fold, it would be easier to move Mallett, though Cassel will draw plenty of interest.