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Ryan Mallett, former NFL quarterback, dies in apparent drowning at age 35

Ryan Mallett, former New England Patriots quarterback, dies in apparent drowning
Ryan Mallett, former New England Patriots quarterback, dies in apparent drowning 00:51

Former Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett, who also played for New England, Houston and Baltimore during five seasons in the NFL, has died in Florida after apparently drowning. He was 35.

Mallett died in an apparent drowning, according to the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office. Mallett was a football coach at White Hall High School in his native Arkansas, and the school district also confirmed his death in a post on its website on Tuesday.

Arkansas athletic director Hunter Yurachek said the university "lost an incredibly special person."

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends and teammates of Ryan Mallett," Yurachek posted on Twitter.

Ryan Mallett
Ryan Mallett playing for the New England Patriots in 2012 Joel Auerbach / Getty Images

The Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office said deputies said a group of people in the water near the second sandbar had reportedly been struggling to make it back to shore. A man, who officials later identified as Mallett, went under and lifeguards said he was not breathing when he was pulled out.

He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Mallett played for the University of Michigan for one season before finishing his college career at Arkansas. He passed for 7,493 yards and 62 touchdowns in two seasons with the Razorbacks.

Mallett was selected by New England in the third round of the 2011 NFL draft. He appeared in four games with the Patriots during the 2012 season, completing 1 of 4 passes for 17 yards.

New England coach Bill Belichick said he was "extremely saddened by Ryan's tragic passing."

"My thoughts and prayers are with his family and the many people whose lives he touched," Belichick said in a statement posted by the team on Twitter.

Tom Brady was among several of Mallett's former Patriots teammates who reacted to the news on social media.

"We lost a great man. Thank you for everything Ryan," Brady wrote in an Instagram story.

"Tough one to swallow," former Patriots receiver Julian Edelman tweeted.

"Rest in peace Ryan Mallet!" former New England running back James White wrote. "Gone way too soon, sending my condolences to his family!" 

Mallett made six starts in nine games with the Texans and two starts in eight appearances with the Ravens. He completed 190 of his 345 attempts in the NFL for 1,835 yards and nine touchdowns with 10 interceptions.

"Ryan was a part of us," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said in a Twitter post by the team. "I will always remember the love he had for his teammates and for making the most of, and enjoying every football day while here."

In his first start on Nov. 16, 2014, Mallett directed Houston to a 23-7 victory at Cleveland. His first career TD pass was a 2-yarder to defensive end J.J. Watt.

"Horrible news to read about Ryan Mallett," Watt posted on Twitter. "Gone way too soon. Rest in Peace brother."

Former Boston Red Sox player Will Middlebrooks wrote on social media that he had lost his "best friend."

"I lost my best friend today," Middlebrooks wrote. "Someone who has stuck by my side since we were just kids. The most competitive, hard headed, fun loving person I ever met. Nothing prepares you for this. I was lucky to have him for as long as I did. Rest in Love One-Five. We love you."

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