Former NFL Star Ryan Mallett Dead at 35 in Apparent Drowning at Florida Beach

Ryan Mallett—who played for the New England Patriots, Houston Texans and Baltimore Ravens—died after an apparent drowning incident at a Florida Beach. He was 35.

By Gabrielle Chung Jun 28, 2023 2:34 AMTags
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The football community is in mourning.

Former NFL quarterback Ryan Mallett died on June 27 in an apparent drowning off a Florida beach, according to the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office. He was 35.

First responders were called to a beach in Destin around 2:12 p.m. local time over reports that a group of people were struggling to make their way back to shore from a nearby sandbar, per a news release from the agency.

Authorities said an individual—later identified as Mallett—went under the water and was not breathing when lifeguards pulled him out. Lifesaving measures were performed before Mallett was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

An official cause of death has not been released.

Mallett first made his way onto the national football scene in 2007, when he played for University of Michigan. He transferred to University of Arkansas in the following year, though NCAA rules prevented him from playing for his new school until 2009. He served as the Arizona Razorbacks' quarterback for two seasons before being drafted into the NFL in 2011.

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As a professional player, Mallett got his start with the New England Patriots, serving as backup quarterback behind Tom Brady for three seasons. He was then traded to the Houston Texans, and remained there for two seasons.

He signed with the Baltimore Ravens in 2015. Two years later, he played his final game with the team.

In the wake of Mallett's passing, many NFL icons took to social media to mourn his death.

"I am extremely saddened by Ryan's tragic passing," longtime Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said in a statement. "My thoughts and prayers are with his family and the many people whose lives he touched."

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Meanwhile, his former Texans teammate J.J. Watt tweeted, "Horrible news to read about Ryan Mallett. Gone way too soon. Rest in Peace brother."

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh also offered his condolence, saying in a statement, "Ryan was a part of us. I will always remember the love he had for his teammates and for making the most of, and enjoying every football day while here."

At the time of his death, Mallett was the football head coach for White Hall High School in Arkansas.

"It is with great sadness that we share the loss of Coach Ryan Mallett," the school said in Facebook statement. "Coach Mallett was a beloved coach and educator. We ask that you remember his family, team, students, fellow coaches, and the White Hall School District staff in your prayers."

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