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Texans release Ryan Mallett, sign T.J. Yates

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The Houston Texans are done hearing excuses from Ryan Mallett. He's no longer on the team.

Mallett was released by the team Tuesday, wrapping up a tumultuous few days in Houston that included Mallett missing his team's charter flight for the game. Mallett subsequently blamed some Houston traffic -- which the Chronicle says was non-existent -- for his absence. Mallett also was late for a practice during training camp when he said his alarm clock broke.

NFL Media's Rand Getlin reported that the Texans signed T.J. Yates, who started one of Houston's two postseason victories. Yates will back up Brian Hoyer for the rest of the season.

The Mallett era will not be looked back upon fondly. The Texans acquired the former New England Patriot for practically nothing in a trade last season. He started two games for the team in 2014 before tearing his pectoral muscle. Mallett was beat out by Hoyer for the starting job this preseason, but took over for Hoyer late in the team's ugly Week 1 loss to Kansas City.

Mallett improbably held on to the starting job for four games, and was one of the worst starters in the league. His passes only seemed to have one speed. Missing the team flight Saturday was the last straw for his stay with the team.

The Houston Chronicle reported Monday that O'Brien wanted to release Mallett over the weekend, but general manager Rick Smith overruled him. That makes sense considering that Hoyer was the only other active quarterback on the roster for Sunday's debacle in Miami, where they trailed 41-0 at halftime. 

Mallett is suddenly a free agent. It will be interesting to see if any other team gives him a shot after this episode in Houston. A third-round pick by the Patriots in 2011, Mallett might have to wait until the offseason to get work again.

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