Former NFL quarterback, Ryan Mallett, 35, died in an accident at the beach in Destin, Florida on June 27.
He drowned in the Gulf of Mexico while attempting to swim to a second sandbar near Gulf Shores Drive, according to the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office.
A beach attendant called 911 at around 2:12 pm to report that six swimmers were having difficulty making it back to the shore.
Two lifeguards tried to assist after Mallett submerged under the water.
The Sheriff’s office said there were no rip currents at the beach.
Mallett was subsequently transported to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival. The news of his untimely passing has sent shock waves through the NFL community.
The NFL released a statement expressing sorrow over Mallett’s sudden death, conveying condolences to his family and loved ones during this difficult time. The New England Patriots, the team that drafted Mallett in 2011, also released a statement expressing deep sadness. They shared a photo of Mallett in a Patriots uniform and extended their sympathies to the Mallett family, former teammates, and all who are mourning his loss.
Recently-retired defensive lineman J.J. Watt, and Mallett’s former teammate with the Houston Texans, expressed his shock and grief on Twitter. He described the news as “horrible” and emphasized that Mallett was taken too soon.
Mallett achieved legendary status during his time at the University of Arkansas, where he played in 2009 and 2010. He started his college career at Michigan, transferred to Arkansas, and excelled as their quarterback. In 2009, he threw for 3,624 yards with 30 touchdowns and just seven interceptions, followed by 3,869 yards with 32 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in 2010. After his junior season, Mallett declared for the NFL Draft and was selected by the New England Patriots as a backup to Tom Brady.
However, Mallett’s stint with the Patriots was short-lived. He was soon traded to the Houston Texans, where he spent a season and a half. Later, he joined the Baltimore Ravens for the 2016 and 2017 seasons before leaving the league. Throughout his NFL career, Mallett started only eight games out of 21 appearances.
In February 2022, Mallett transitioned to coaching and became the head football coach at White Hall High School in Arkansas. His sudden and tragic passing has left a void in the football community, and he will be remembered for his contributions both on and off the field.