Ben Goessling](http://espn.go.com/blog/minnesota-vikings/post//id/4871/some-vikings-plan-b-quarterback-options?utmsource=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter)** of ESPN.com believes Patriots backup QB Ryan Mallett could be an intriguing trade option for the Minnesota Vikings.
"The Vikings would have had a chance to evaluate Mallett before the 2011 draft, when they took Christian Ponder, though three years learning behind Tom Brady can do wonders for a player's stock (it certainly helped Cassel when he got his chance to prove himself in 2008)," writes Goessling. "Mallett and Adrian Peterson have a friendly relationship through a mutual coaching connection, and Vikings general manager Rick Spielman has done a number of deals with the Patriots. If the Patriots were open to moving him, it's possible the Vikings could take a look."
Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk writes that Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels wanted the Cleveland Browns head coaching job and was a candidate right up until the point of the Mike Pettine hire, according to a report.
"The report also says Patriots coach Bill Belichick was in touch with the Browns, and was vouching for McDaniels to the very end," adds David Smith.
"It's unclear exactly why McDaniels went from the Browns' supposed top choice, to not in the running at all, to a finalist who lost out to Pettine. But he'll spend at least one more year as offensive coordinator of the Patriots, rather than heading to Cleveland."
Curtis Crabtree of ProFootballTalk writes that Michael Lombardi will be joining the New England Patriots front office after being fired as the GM of the Cleveland Browns, according to multiple reports.
"Lombardi will be reuniting with Patriots' head coach Bill Belichick," writes Crabtree. "The two worked together with the Browns during Belichick's first head coaching opportunity in Cleveland from 1991-1995. Lombardi's role with the Patriots is unclear."
Pat Kirwan of CBSSports.com writes Ryan Mallett could be a trade target for teams this offseason.
"Not every team looking for a new starter is going to be satisfied in the draft or a free agent pickup," writes Kirwan. "Alex Smith was the trade of 2013 and helpd catapult the Chiefs into the playoffs.
"Is there such a guy on a roster right now? One coach told me at the Senior Bowl that Michael Vick could be the 2014 version of Smith. Another coach thought going after Patriots backup Ryan Mallett was a good idea, though that sounds more like the Schaub deal, when the Texans made the deal to get him from Atlanta."
Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald shares five football-related thoughts on NFL draft prospect Michael Sam and the Patriots.
"Bottom line: If the Pats believe Sam is an upgrade over [Andre] Carter (who wants to return and would likely receive a minimum salary), Buchanan or Bequette, they should take him, so long as they aren't better-equipped to fill a bigger need elsewhere at that moment in the draft," writes Howe.