The Houston Texans acquired quarterback Ryan Mallett from the New England Patriots in exchange for a sixth-round draft pick and have informed Case Keenum he will be waived, according to ESPN.
The teams reportedly discussed a Mallett trade before the NFL Draft in May — Texans head coach Bill O’Brien is a former Patriots offensive coordinator — but were unable to agree on terms. Mallett, a 2011 third-round pick out of Arkansas, was ultimately passed on the depth chart by rookie Jimmy Garoppolo this preseason and is entering the final year of his contract. Garoppolo will enter the regular season as the backup to 37-year-old Tom Brady.
The 6-foot-6 Mallett has completed just one career pass during the regular season but spent the past three seasons learning behind Brady. He has an opportunity to see far more action in Houston, where the Texans enter the season with journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick as their starter, but the Texans could turn to one of their young quarterbacks to develop should the offense struggle out of the gate.
The Texans selected Tom Savage in the fourth round in May, and he will compete with Mallett following the release of Keenum, who started eight games last season but lacks great arm strength.
The Dallas Cowboys were also in talks with the Patriots about Mallett, according to NFL.com.
The New England Patriots released defensive tackle Jerel Worthy and wide receiver Josh Boyce, among 19 cuts made by the team on Saturday.
Worthy was let go less than three weeks after acquiring him from the Green Bay Packers. He played just 14 snaps last season after coming back from an ACL tear in 2012. He was a second-round draft pick that year.
Worthy was competing for a spot behind Vince Wilfork and first-round draft choice Dominique Easley.
Boyce, a fourth-round draft pick in 2013, could end up on the team’s practice squad if another team does not claim him.
In addition, rookie LB James Morris was placed on injured reserve.
Others released included long snapper Danny Aiken, linebacker Steve Beauharnais, defensive lineman Jake Bequette, wide receiver Josh Boyce, tight end Steve Maneri, defensive lineman Jerel Worthy, offensive lineman Braxston Cave, linebacker Ja’Gared Davis, safety Kanorris Davis, running back Jonas Gray, defensive back DB Daxton Swanson, offensive lineman Jon Halapio, wide receiver Jeremy Gallon, running back Roy Finch, safety Shamiel Gary, defensive lineman Eathyn Manumaleuna, offensive lineman Chris Martin, linebacker Taylor McCuller and defensive lineman L.T. Tuipulotu.