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Mallett poised to give Hoyer a run

There’s obviously no debate over who will start at QB for the Patriots.

There’s obviously no debate over who will start at QB for the Patriots.

The backup??That’s a different story this year.

Brian Hoyer has backed up Tom Brady two years running, and — luckily — he hasn’t played much. Hoyer has completed just 26 passes for 264 yards and one touchdown.

New England landed Hoyer as an unheralded, undrafted free agent out of Michigan State.

This year, he’s got competition — and it’s anything but unheralded and undrafted.

Ryan Mallett, the Pats’ third-round pick in the 2011 draft, started his collegiate career at Michigan, but transferred to?Arkansas after his freshman campaign.

After sitting out a season due to NCAA?transfer rules, he posted a stellar sophomore season. The success carried over to his junior year, which carried over to him declaring for the draft.

Despite his first-round talent, reported “character issues” dropped Mallett to the third — where Bill Belichick was only too happy to snatch him up.

After investing the pick, the Pats seem likely to go into the season with three QBs on the roster.

Given the short offseason, expect Hoyer to get the nod behind Brady ... at first. Mallett has looked very impressive in camp.

Patriots sign?Jets DE?Ellis

The Patriots won’t have to worry about double-teaming Shaun Ellis anymore.

He’s on their side, now.

Ellis, who had two sacks in the Jets’ playoff win over New England last year, has agreed to a one-year contract with the Pats. He could practice with the team today.

Elsewhere on defense, the Pats released safety Brandon McGowan, according to online reports.

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