The Patriots kept Ryan Mallett along with Tom Brady and second-round pick Jimmy Garoppolo for their final roster cuts, and now it's clear why: They didn't want to release someone that could get a return. New England will reportedly ship Mallett to the Houston Texans.

Ian Rapoport first reported the deal:

Apparently, the Cowboys were also inquiring about Mallett.

ESPN's Tania Ganguli added that the Patriots received a sixth-round pick in return.


Update: Rapoport says it's a conditional seventh-round pick.


New Texans head coach Bill O'Brien was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the Patriots from 2007 to 2011, and was on the coaching staff for Mallett's rookie season. He'll now get to determine if Mallett's good enough to take the starting position over Ryan Fitzpatrick. Who wants to throw to Andre Johnson more?

Photo: AP