NFL quarterback-to-be Ryan Mallett was to visit the Carolina Panthers back on April 9th, but ended up missing the meeting. That's what we know.
Why did he miss it? That's where we get conflicting reports. Brad Biggs of the National Football Post reported that Mallett was "out on the town late" the night before.
Mallet's agent tells a different tale. Via Pro Football Talk:
"I'll tell you this — Ryan was in his hotel room by about 10 o'clock," [Mallett's agent J.R.] Carroll said.
Carroll said Mallett did meet with Panthers offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski the next morning, but he had to miss the rest of that day's planned meetings — because he had genuinely fallen ill, not because he was hung over or bleary-eyed from a long night out.
"I'm pretty sure Ryan was really, really sick," Carroll said. "He told me he was sick the night before. And I know Ryan wasn't out late night. I know that for sure. He's not an idiot."
Normally, there wouldn't be much need to pay a story like this any attention. Stories get out there about guys around draft time -- sometimes they're true, sometimes they're not, and most of us will never know the truth. But it's particularly troubling for Mallett, as he's had drinking issues before. He was arrested in 2009 for public intoxication.
Most drafties don't have Mallett listed among the top two or three quarterbacks in the draft, and it was probably a longshot that he was going to be drafted by Carolina, anyway. Something like this, depending on what other teams believe, could hurt his stock leaguewide, though.