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Ryan Mallett traded to Houston Texans from Patriots

Ryan Mallett is on the move.

The New England Patriots have traded Mallett to the Houston Texans. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport, who originally broke the news, reported that the Patriots received a seventh-round draft pick that can become a sixth-round pick based on playing time. NFL Media's Albert Breer reports that it will turn into a sixth-round pick if Mallett plays over 40 percent of the Texans' snaps this season.

The Dallas Cowboys were also in talks with the Patriots for Mallett, according to Rapoport. The Texans made room for Mallett by releasing Case Keenum, who started eight games (all losses) for the Texans last season.

The Patriots have been actively trying to move Mallett, who is entering the final year of his rookie contract. The former third-round pick has seen little action behind Tom Brady, attempting just four passes since 2011.

The Patriots hoped to use the preseason as a showcase for Mallett, even starting him in the team's first preseason game. Mallett struggled, however, potentially hurting his trade value. He played just one series in New England's preseason finale, another sign the team still had Mallett on the market.

Now he'll attempt to get on the field with the Texans, who are coached by former Pats offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien.

It's a much better situation for Mallett, who no longer has to look up to a living legend on the depth chart. Ryan Fitzpatrick will open the season as Houston's starter, with rookie Tom Savage also in the mix.

Don't be surprised if Mallett eventually sees game action for a Texans team searching for a passer they can trust.

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