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Madison Carter, the girlfriend of the late Ryan Mallett, was with the former NFL quarterback when he drowned off the coast of Destin, Florida. She posted a heartfelt tribute to Mallett on Sunday, a few days after his tragic passing.
Mallett and a few others were stuck on a sandbar, and while trying to swim back, Mallett went under the water before later being pulled out by lifeguards. Authorities said that after returning to the shore, lifeguards attempted to resuscitate him, but were unsuccessful and he was later pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.
Carter shared her touching tribute to Facebook, which included the powerful plea “I’m so sorry I couldn’t save you, and I hope you know how hard I tried.”
“How do I even find the words. I prayed for you for 27 years, and we finally found each other,” Carter wrote. “I trust that God has a plan for everything, but I don’t think I will ever understand why this happened. I’m so sorry I couldn’t save you, and I hope you know how hard I tried.”
“Everyone knows how talented, dedicated, and passionate you were about the game of football. Those of us who were lucky enough to know your heart know that it was even bigger than your larger-than-life personality and stature. Nothing was ever about you, it was always about others. Multiple times, I heard you say ‘there are so many good people in this world,’ and that statement alone shows what kind of person you were. Always looking for the good.
“I can never thank you enough for loving me the way that you did. In such a short time, you showed me the love I have prayed for my entire life,” Carter continued.
Mallett was a third-round pick of the New England Patriots in the 2011 NFL Draft after a strong college career at Arkansas. The big-armed, big-bodied QB remained a Pat until 2014 when he joined the Houston Texans. Mallett was later traded to the Baltimore Ravens before becoming a free agent in 2018.
He played in a total of 21 games during his NFL career throwing nine touchdowns.