OWINGS MILLS, Md. — New Ravens quarterback Ryan Mallett described being cut by the Houston Texans as “humble pie” that he “digested real quickly” in late October.
Without delving into the specifics of how he addressed the concerns about his maturity and commitment to football, Mallett is looking forward to another chance with a new team.
“I’ve grown up a lot. I acted immaturely at some games in Houston,” Mallett said. “There were reasons for it. But that’s not going to be discussed right now. Just growing up and going through the process, the best thing probably was for me to be cut. I’ve learned a lot from it.”
Head coach John Harbaugh has left the door open for Mallett to see playing time before the end of the 2015 season, but the Ravens signed him with an eye toward the future as he could make up to $2.5 million next season, according to NFL Network. Known for his strong arm and 6-foot-6 frame, Mallett would have a chance to be Baltimore’s backup quarterback to Joe Flacco, who will spend the offseason rehabbing his surgically-repaired knee and hopes to be ready for the start of training camp.
First, Mallett must prove the issues that led to his downfall with the Texans are behind him as he was cut in late October after missing a team flight to Miami. The 27-year-old had previously been late for meetings and practices as he eventually wore out his welcome with second-year head coach Bill O’Brien, who elected to go with Brian Hoyer as his starting quarterback after Mallett started four games early in the season.
Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said Mallett will be given the chance to prove that he belongs.
“When you get a couple strikes against you, it certainly brings it into sharp focus,” Harbaugh said. “He has an opportunity here. I don’t know if he deserves — I don’t think anybody ‘deserves’ — but a better word would be he has an opportunity to make the best of it. He’s determined to do that, and what he makes of it, really, in the end, is up to him.”
According to ESPN, Mallett has received professional help for his personal issues, which prompted the Ravens to sign him after working him out earlier this month. Previous concerns in college led to him falling to the third round of the 2011 draft before New England selected him to be Tom Brady’s backup.
After once being thought of as a big-time NFL prospect, Mallett says he’s taken his struggles on and off the field in stride. Describing the process of getting acclimated with the Ravens as “minute by minute,” the University of Arkansas product is relishing the opportunity to move on from his embarrassing exit in Houston.
“I’m not disappointed. I’m still in the NFL,” Mallett said. “I’m still living the dream. To me, I don’t know if you would call it a disappointment. It’s been a tough road but it’s part of life.”