There were plenty of rumors earlier in the offseason linking New England Patriots backup quarterback Ryan Mallett to the Houston Texans in trade rumors, and it looks like both teams may have swung a deal. Per a source close to CSNNE’s Tom E. Curran, a deal sending Mallett from the Patriots to the Texans “may soon be done”, and this could be the big QB trade at the top of the draft that some insiders had projected. If the Texans do indeed acquire Mallett, then it means that the team is indeed focusing on drafting Jadeveon Clowney or Khalil Mack at No. 1, as ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported earlier today that the team is no longer interested in trading down (they were previously in aggressive talks to trade down, but they also had a sky-high price) and will take their top guy, whom they feel very comfortable taking first, instead of looking to deal up.
That prospect is expected to be Clowney, and a Mallett trade would only further confirm the Mack/Clowney suspicions. It will be interesting to see what the Texans gave up for Mallett if this trade does go through, and the Patriots used to ask for a second-round pick for the longest time. They spent a third-round pick on the strong-armed Arkansas product before spending time to develop him, and they’ve always been high on his tools, development (despite little preseason success), play as Tom Brady’s backup, and potential value as a trade chip. It’s worth noting that the Texans reportedly had more interest in shopping the 33rd overall pick than the first overall pick, so we’ll see if they shipped a second or third-round pick to New England. But at this point, we don’t even know if a deal has even gone through.
Again, this is huge news, so keep a close eye out for further news on this. A Ryan Mallett trade would not only shake up the Texans draft strategy, but it would give the Patriots a high pick for them to bolster their roster even further. It would also clear the way for them to draft their next developmental guy behind Brady, and it will be equally interesting to see who that player is. Could it be Tom Savage? A.J. McCarron?
That said, there was plenty of speculation earlier this offseason about this kind of a move, and it means a Bill Belichick disciple could build his offense by trusting in a mid-round pick from his mentor. It would be a gamble, but it would be worth it if the Texans believe he is better than the prospect they would have drafted with the pick they shipped to the Patriots in the deal.
Update: Curran tweets, “Second source says nothing doing at the moment on Mallett to Houston. We’ll watch how it plays out. Makes sense if Clowney is No. 1.” Yup, the only way the Texans would make this move is if they are planning on drafting a non-QB at No. 1.
Update: CBS Sports’s Jason La Canfora reports, “From what I am gathering, Pats don’t have anything going with the Texans on Mallett right now. We shall see”.