Ryan Mallet has a new home after the New England Patriots traded the promising backup to the Houston Texans for a sixth-round draft pick.
The 26-year-old Mallett could have a big role with the rebuilding Texans, who are coming off a two-win season and may be looking for a franchise signal caller. The Texans are set to enter the season with veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick as their starter, but he is not considered a long-term option.
The 6-foot-6 Mallett was highly regarded coming out of college, but fell to the third round amid concerns of his maturity. He served as Tom Brady’s backup for two seasons, but this preseason was passed on the depth chart by second-round draft pick Jimmy Garoppolo.
In the preseason, Mallett appeared in three games, completing 14 of 26 attempts for 161 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. Garoppolo outshined him, completing 46 of 79 passes for 618 yards, five touchdowns and one interception.
The Ryan Mallett trade comes as a bit of a surprise to anyone who might have taken coach Bill Belichick at his word this offseason. After the Patriots acquired cornerback Darrell Revis, the Patriots coach was asked if he had plans on trading Ryan Mallett, whose potential appeared to be wasted sitting behind Tom Brady.
“That’s not really something we’re that interested in,” Belichick told Movin’ the Chains hosts Jim Miller and Pat Kirwan on SiriusXM. “Ryan has done a good job for us. Fortunately for our team, maybe unfortunately for Ryan, he hasn’t really had any playing time in the last three years. But he’s improved tremendously as a quarterback and as a football player, and we have a lot of confidence in him.”
To make room for Ryan Mallett, the Texans have waived quarterback Case Keenum. He started eight games last season, but was fighting for the No. 2 position with Tom Savage. Savage may still start the season as Fitzpatrick’s backup until Mallett is up to speed on the team’s offense.