The New England Patriots have a new backup quarterback.
The Patriots traded Ryan Mallett to the Houston Texans, a source told NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport on Sunday and New England later confirmed. The team said it received an undisclosed draft pick in the deal, but Patriots Football Weekly’s Paul Perillo said it appears it’s a conditional seventh-round choice that would become a sixth-rounder should Mallett take at least 40 percent of Houston’s snaps this season.
Texans head coach Bill O’Brien was the Patriots’ offensive coordinator in 2011, when the team drafted Mallett in the third round.
The Patriots took quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in the second round of this year’s NFL draft, and after a strong preseason, he’ll be Tom Brady’s backup. Garoppolo started in the Patriots’ preseason finale last week and played all four quarters.
The Patriots also shopped Mallett to the Dallas Cowboys and Buffalo Bills, a source told the Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe.
Mallett joins a mediocre quarterback group in Houston, where Ryan Fitzpatrick is expected to be O’Brien’s starter. The Texans also have Case Keenum and Tom Savage on their roster.
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