Arkansas coach Bret Bielema speaks to the ...
Mallett traded to Houston
New England Patriots quarterback Ryan Mallett scrambles out of the pocket during the first half of an NFL football preseason game against the Washington Redskins in Landover, Md., Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
The New England Patriots traded Ryan Mallett to the Houston Texans in exchange for a 2016 conditional seventh-round pick Sunday.
Mallett is only 1-for-4 for 17 yards and an interception during the regular season in his career, but has widely been considered one of the NFL's top backup quarterbacks, learning behind Tom Brady and under head coach Bill Belichick.
However, the former Arkansas quarterback has been involved in trade rumors for a while, especially after the Patriots selected Jimmy Garoppolo in the second round of this year's draft.
In three preseason games, Mallett completed only 53.8 percent of his passes, but that percentage was hurt with a poor performance in the first preseason game. He played much better in his last two games, completing 64.3 percent of his passes.
Mallett will rejoin Bill O'Brien in Houston. O'Brien was the quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator in New England when the Patriots selected Mallett in the third round of the 2011 draft and is now the first-year head coach of the Texans.
He is expected to replace Case Keenum as the Texans' backup quarterback, as well as compete with Ryan Fitzpatrick for the starting spot.