Ryan Mallett, a former NFL quarterback who played for the New England Patriots, Houston Texans, and Baltimore Ravens, died on June 27, 2023, at the age of 35. He was found unresponsive in the water off a beach in Destin, Florida, and was pronounced dead at a hospital. The cause of death was drowning.
Mallett was born in Texarkana, Texas, and played college football at the University of Arkansas. He was drafted by the Patriots in the third round of the 2011 NFL Draft and played for the team for one season. He then played for the Texans for two seasons and the Ravens for three seasons. In his six-year NFL career, he appeared in 21 games and threw for 1,835 yards and nine touchdowns.
After retiring from the NFL in 2017, Mallett returned to Arkansas and became the head football coach at White Hall High School. He had been in the position for less than a year at the time of his death.
Mallett’s death was met with widespread sadness and mourning from the NFL community. His former teammates, coaches, and opponents all expressed their condolences to his family and friends. He was remembered as a talented quarterback with a big personality.
Tom Brady was Mallett’s teammate with the New England Patriots, posted on Instagram: “We lost a great man. Thank you for everything Ryan. Praying for the Mallett family and all their loved ones tonight.”
J.J. Watt, who also played with Mallett at the University of Arkansas, tweeted: “Heartbroken to hear about the loss of Ryan Mallett. One of the most genuine and caring people I’ve ever met. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.”
The New England Patriots released another statement saying, “We are deeply saddened to learn of the sudden and unexpected passing of former quarterback Ryan Mallett. Ryan was a beloved member of our team and community during his time in New England. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time.”
A memorial service for Mallett was held in his hometown of Texarkana on July 2, 2023. He is survived by his wife, Breanna, and their two children.