Bedard's sources tell him that "the odds are slightly stronger that Mallett is dealt than kept" by the Patriots once all is said and done.
However, compensation, as usual, is the issue. The Pats invested a third-round pick in Mallett in 2011, at a time when they clearly didn't need a quarterback. They've spent the past two years teaching him the ins and outs of becoming the next Tom Brady (and not the next Matt Cassel to anyone who's interested in trading, thank you very much) and want to be justly compensated. Who can blame them?
Bedard believes that a second-round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft or a 2014 first-round pick would probably get the job done. That brings into question whether or not the Browns, run by unabashed Mallett fan and Belichick buddy Mike Lombardi, are in play then, because they have no second-round pick this year.