Sunday, August 31, 2014

Patriots deal Mallett to Texans, claim DT Quarles amid roster shuffling

New England Patriots' quarterback Ryan Mallett is now ex-Patriots' quarterback Ryan Mallett, as the fourth year signal caller has been dealt to the Houston Texans for a conditional seventh-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.

According to numerous sources, the Patriots' worked right up until the 4:00pm cutdown deadline on Saturday in trying to work a deal with one of three teams - reportedly between the Texans, Cowboys and Bills - and when the proper compensation package failed to materialize, coach Bill Belichick stashed the Texas native on his active roster, forcing him to cut long snapper Danny Aiken to make room...

...the reason being that Belichick didn't want to just waive Mallett and receive nothing in return, especially with three teams bidding on him, though he ended up with next to nothing in the long run.

In a corresponding move, the Texans waived quarterback Case Keenum, leaving their depth chart with Ryan Fitzpatrick, Mallett and rookie Tom Savage.

As the news broke, many were expecting that the Patriots would re-sign Aiken, whose cut left the team with just hybrid defensive end / outside linebacker Rob Ninkovich as their long snapper, but instead New England claimed rookie three-tech defensive end Kelsy Quarles off waivers from the New York Giants.

So in the spirit of killing two birds with one stone, the Patriots relieve themselves of the Mallett albatross while picking up much needed depth on the defensive line behind rookie Dominique Easley, Joe Vellano and Chris Jones - the undrafted Quarles losing out in a numbers game on the Giants' line after outperforming two recent high-round picks, the Giants probably hoping to stash him on their practice squad.

Quarles, a 6' 4", 295 pound South Carolina product, owed some of his sack production last season - nine-and-a-half sacks to rank second among defensive tackles in the NCAA - to the presence of the Texans' first round pick Jadeveon Clowney rushing from the outside. and may benefit from the excellence of Chandler Jones rushing from his outside linebacker position.

New England also signed two of their final cuts to the practice squad on Sunday, inking linebacker Ja'Gerad Davis and running back Jonas Gray.

Much more forthcoming on all of these transactions...

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