“We Lost A Great Man”| Tom Brady Mourns Death Of Former Teammate Ryan Mallett

Former NFL QB Ryan Mallett died on Tuesday in an apparent drowning at a Florida Gulf Coast beach. He was 35. His former teammate on the New England Patriots, Tom Brady, shared a message mourning the loss.

“We lost a great man. Thank you for everything Ryan,” Brady wrote in an Instagram story that included a photo of the two of them at Patriots practice. “Praying for the Mallett family and all their loved ones tonight.”

According to the county sheriff’s office, first responders were called to a beach in Destin, Florida, around 2:12 p.m. local time, as a group of people swimming in the Gulf of Mexico near a sandbar struggled to make their way back to shore. One of the individuals, later identified as Mallett, was not breathing when he was pulled out of the water and was transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Rip Currents Claiming Lives Off Florida Gulf Coast

The county sheriff’s office also said rip currents have claimed at least 11 lives in two weeks along the Gulf Coast, though it was not stated that Mallett was caught in a rip current.

Rip currents are strong, narrow, seaward flows of water that extend from close to the shoreline to outside of the surf zone. They are found on almost any beach with breaking waves and act as “rivers of the sea,” moving sand, marine organisms, and other material offshore, according to the National Weather Service. While it won’t pull someone underwater, a rip current can pull even the strongest swimmer away from the beach beyond breaking waves.

The 10-year average for US rip current fatalities is 71, weather service data shows. They were the third-leading cause of weather fatalities from 2013 to 2023, data shows, killing on average more people than lightning, tornadoes or hurricanes.

Larger Football Community Mourns The Loss Of Ryan Mallett

In 2020 he started coaching high school football in Arkansas, and last year he became the head football coach at White Hall High School.

“It is with great sadness that we share the loss of Coach Ryan Mallett,” White Hall wrote in a post on its website. “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.”

Mallett’s death is being mourned by the larger football community as well. Former All-Pro defensive end JJ Watt tweeted “Rest in Peace brother.”

Mallett was a third-round draft pick of the Patriots in 2011 coming out of Arkansas. He finished his college career there after a freshman season at Michigan.

As a redshirt sophomore in 2009 under head coach Bobby Petrino, he led the Razorbacks to an 8-5 record and win in the Liberty Bowl, for which he earned Offensive MVP honors.

The next season he threw for 3,869 yards, 32 touchdowns and 12 interceptions with a 64.7 completion percentage, earning second-team All-SEC honors and finishing seventh in voting for the 2010 Heisman Trophy.

“We are shocked and saddened by the passing of Ryan Mallett,” the Arkansas football program said in a statement posted to Twitter. “He was a Razorback legend with larger-than-life talent and a personality to match. He led our program to some of our best moments in recent memory. He will be missed by everyone who knew him. Our thoughts and prayers are with his mother Debbie and his extended family.”

Mallett finished his six year NFL career playing for the Houston Texans and Baltimore Ravens.

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