Report: Patriots trade QB Ryan Mallett to Texans for conditional pick

Ryan Mallett reportedly is headed to Houston. (USATSI)
Ryan Mallett reportedly is headed to Houston. (USATSI)

In March, we raised the possibility of the Texans trading for Patriots backup quarterback Ryan Mallett.

Five months later, it appears that's become a reality, as Houston has acquired Mallett in a trade, according to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport. In return, the Patriots will get a conditional draft pick that could be as high as a sixth-rounder, CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora said.

It's an interesting move, considering the Texans bypassed a quarterback with their No. 1 overall draft pick in order to grab Jadeveon Clowney. That was a move that likely had to be made, even though Houston had to bring in journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick to take over the starting quarterback job.

In response to the swap, the Texans have informed Case Keenum that they will release him, according to La Canfora. With fourth-round pick Tom Savage a better fit for the future, the case for keeping Keenum -- who started eight games last season and lost every one of them -- was tenuous at best. The Ravens could show interest in obtaining Keenum when he passes through waivers.

Ever since the Patriots drafted quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in the second round of the 2014 draft, the clock was ticking on Mallett, particularly when Garoppolo had a solid preseason performance in his audition to be Tom Brady's backup and/or the team's quarterback of the future.

Meanwhile, Mallett, a third-round pick in the 2011 draft, only played in four games in the past three seasons, completing 1 of 4 passes for 17 yards and an interception.

According to the Boston Herald, the Bills and Cowboys also were involved in trade discussions for Mallett.

As for Mallett's future in Houston ...

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