Ryan Mallett, former quarterback of the National Football League (NFL), died Tuesday after drowning on a beach in the US city of Destin, in the state of Florida, according to the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office in a press release.
Mallett drowned on the shoreline of Gulf Shore Drive in Destin, Florida. A group of people were struggling in the waters when it sank. He was not breathing when lifeguards pulled him out and rescue efforts were unsuccessful,” the sheriff’s department said.
The 35-year-old was rushed to a Florida hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival.
Mallett was selected in the third round of the 2011 NBA Draft by the New England Patriots, a team in which the starting quarterback was Tom Brady and who was one of the first former teammates to regret his departure.
“We lost a great man. Thanks for everything, Ryan. Tonight I pray for all his family and loved ones,” Tom Brady posted on his Instagram account.
Mallett was with the Pats until the 2013 season before being traded to the Houston Texans, where he remained until 2015 and shared a team with defensive end Justin James Watt, who also fired the former player.
“Horrible news to read about Ryan Mallett. He left too soon. Rest in peace, brother,” JJ Watt wrote on social media.
The former quarterback ended his career with the Baltimore Ravens in 2017, a club with which he is remembered for his extraordinary performance in the 20-17 victory against their rival, the Pittsburgh Steelers, in week 16 of the 2015 season.
Over seven years in the NFL, Mallet played 21 games, going 3–5 (three wins and five losses) in eight starts. He racked up 1,835 passing yards, nine touchdown assists and 10 interceptions.
After his retirement, he became a coach. He got his first job in February 2020 as an assistant coach at White Hall High School in his native Arkansas.
“It is with great sadness that we share the loss of coach Ryan Mallett. Coach Mallett was a beloved coach and educator. We ask that you remember his family, team, students, fellow coaches and White Hall School District staff in your prayers,” said the statement from the high school where Mallett worked until news of his passing broke.