The New England patriots will not carry three quarterbacks into the regular season. On Sunday, the Patriots finally traded Ryan Mallett to the Houston Texas for a conditional 2016 seventh-round draft pick that could become a six-round pick depending on Mallet's playing time with the Texas. The trade reunites Mallett with former Patriots offensive coordinator and Texans head coach Bill O'Brien.
Mallett became expendable after the Patriots selected rookie quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in the second round of the NFL draft. The Patriots tried to showcase Mallett in the preseason to increase his value, but he was outplayed by Garoppolo and value actually decreased. The Texans had to trade for Mallett because of interest from the Dallas Cowboys. If the Patriots released the 26-year-old Arkansas product, he could've been claimed by the Cowboys.
While Mallett does have talent, his lack of playing time in the NFL makes him a mystery, but he could eventually strive in Bill O'Brien's offense sense he is already familiar with it. Ryan Fitzpatrick is currently the starter and Mallett is expected to be the backup, but could see playing time if Fitzpatrick struggles and the Texans get off to a slow start like the team did a season ago.
In three preseason games with the Patriots, Mallett was 14 for 26 for 161 yards and a touchdown. The former Patriots backup quarterback didn't look good in the team's first preseason game against the Washington Red Skins, but redeemed himself a little bit in the next two games against the Philadelphia Eagles and Carolina Panthers.
With Mallett gone, Garoppolo is assured the backup quarterback role if the team doesn't bring in another veteran. His strong play in the preseason has earned him faith and admiration from his teammates. He completed 46-of-79 passes for 618 yards, five touchdowns and one interception in the four preseason games. His confidence and ability to move around the pocket were most impressive. Wide receiver Brian Tyms, who quickly became his favorite target during the preseason, spoke highly of Garoppolo.
He told the Boston Herald, "He's good, man. He's good. As long as he keeps working, he's going to be really good." The 22-year-old quarterback can only get better working behind a player like Tom Brady. And now with Mallett gone, he has the future Hall of Fame quarterback all to himself.