One week before their regular season opener, the Texans have acquired a quarterback to whom they’ve long been linked.
The Patriots have traded backup Ryan Mallett to Houston, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reported Sunday.
According to Tania Ganguli of ESPN.com, the Texans will give up a sixth-round pick for Mallett.
In Houston, Mallett will work again with Bill O’Brien, the former Patriots offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach who’s now the Texans’ head coach.
For New England, the move makes rookie Jimmy Garoppolo the only backup to starter Tom Brady.
The focus now turns to whether Mallett can overtake Ryan Fitzpatrick for the Texans’ starting job. The trade could also potentially lead to another roster move for Houston, which now has four quarterbacks. Were a quarterback to be moved, third-year pro Case Keenum would seem to be the prime candidate.
A 2011 third-round pick from Arkansas, the 26-year-old Mallett has appeared in four regular season games, all as a reserve. He is in the final year of his contract. Whether the Texans will extend his deal or let him play out 2014 under his current contract is another storyline to watch.