Patriots trade QB Mallett to Texans for late-round pick

Ryan Mallett was selected in the third round of the 2011 NFL Draft.

David Butler II/David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots traded quarterback Ryan Mallett to the Houston Texans on Sunday, the team announced.  

The Patriots will receive a conditional seventh-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft in return for the quarterback, according to multiple reports.

Mallett, who was penciled to be the third quarterback on the Patriots roster, has been long-rumored to be trade bait for QB-needy teams.

Given rookie Jimmy Garoppolo’s preseason performances, Patriots’ brass must feel comfortable entering the regular season with him behind quarterback Tom Brady.

Mallett was selected in the third round of the 2011 NFL Draft and is slated to be a free agent after this season.

The Texans, who reportedly waived quarterback Case Keenum on Sunday after acquring Mallett, named veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick the starter earlier this offseason. Rookie quarterback Tom Savage was selected in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft.

The 6-foot-6, 245-pound quarterback has appeared in four games during his three-year career.