Ryan Mallett to Stick as Texans Starting QB?
The Houston Texans could be entering the 2015 NFL off-season with a huge question at the quarterback position for the second year in a row. Or they could just bank on Ryan Mallett, the guy they traded for last year, being the answer.
That could be the case, per HoustonTexans.com, as the team is said to be very interested in retaining the soon to be free agent with the goal of having him under center as their week one starter. Should Mallett stick around (he reportedly would like to), the team would likely cut veteran passer Ryan Fitzpatrick and then place 2014 fourth round draft pick Tom Savage behind Mallett.
Mallett would be returning under head coach Bill O’Brien, who coached Mallett during his days with the New England Patriots. That familiarity obviously helps both sides, while the Texans may not believe they’ve seen all they need to of Mallett just yet. Houston originally traded for the 27-year old during the regular season last year in hopes he could possibly develop into their future franchise passer. Never really given a chance behind Tom Brady in New England, Mallett was solid in his debut start, which ended up being a blowout win over the Cleveland Browns.
Mallett delivered in his first start, putting up over 200 passing yards and two touchdowns in the win. He wasn’t quite as efficient in his second game with the Texans and suffered a season-ending injury, but he appeared to do enough to encourage the Texans that they may have found their guy.
Whether or not Mallett ends up being the answer in Houston probably doesn’t matter. The Texans are still developing Savage and will likely add even more talent via this year’s draft. Mallett would be brought back on what figures to be a team friendly deal to be the opening day starter, and if he ended up being the real deal, both sides win. If not, Savage or the new third string quarterback could take over.
The Texans were a borderline playoff team a year ago in O’Brien’s first season, however. If Mallett can build off of the performance everyone saw in his first ever pro start, they could climb the ladder back into the playoff picture again in 2015. If he can’t, they’ll find out and move forward with one of their other young quarterbacks.
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