Apparently the rumors were true. New England Patriots backup quarterback Ryan Mallett has been traded to the Houston Texans for a conditional 2016 seventh round draft pick, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. This trade confirms that the Patriots are more than satisfied with rookie Jimmy Garoppolo's progress after his successful preseason performance.
This move also means that the Pats will only go with two quarterbacks this season, which will allow them to add more depth to another position of need. Of course, in an ideal world the Patriots won't need Garoppolo to take a single snap this season.
Rapoport also reports that the Dallas Cowboys were in talks with the Patriots for Mallett, which is why the Texans had to complete a trade, not hope to claim him on waivers. Reuniting Mallett with head coach Bill O'Brien for just a conditional pick is certainly a good deal for Houston, but it also allows New England to open up a roster spot.
Personally, I think dealing Ryan Mallett is a no-brainer. Mallett's progress over the past few years has been extremely disappointing. Last summer I thought he was outplayed by Tim Tebow during a handful of practices and I felt the same way with Garoppolo this year.
Mallett might have a rocket arm, but his cadence is poor and he lacks an overall command of the offense that you'd like to see from a quarterback entering his fourth year in the NFL -- especially under the tutelage of Tom Brady.
Garoppolo may have had his struggles early in camp, but his ability to run the show was clear from day one. This is a player who has pure leadership abilities and his play in the preseason certainly suggests that he progressed more quickly in one summer than Mallett had in four years.