The Patriots have traded quarterback Ryan Mallett to the Houston Texans, as NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reported on Sunday.
Barring any other moves, the trade effectively leaves Tom Brady with just one backup -- rookie Jimmy Garoppolo. Houston, meanwhile, now has four quarterbacks.
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The 26-year-old Mallett, selected by the Pats in the third round of the 2011 draft, will reunite with former New England offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Bill O'Brien, now the head coach of the Texans. Mallett is entering the final year of his rookie deal.
The Patriots kick off their regular season on Sept. 7 in Miami against the Dolphins. The Texans play at home that day vs. the Redskins.
- Marc Weinreich