Just days after he missed the team’s charter plane to Miami, quarterback Ryan Mallett has been released by the Texans, according to Mark Berman of FOX 26 Houston (Twitter link). A Monday report indicated that head coach Bill O’Brien wanted to cut Mallett but was overruled by GM Rick Smith, so it appears Smith has come around on the decision.
Mallett, who also missed a training camp practice this year, claims that he missed last week’s flight because his cell phone died and his alarm didn’t go off. Whether or not that story is true, the missed flight was the last straw for the Texans, who will now have to find a backup for Brian Hoyer, since Mallett was the only other signal-caller on the roster. Tom Savage, the team’s third quarterback, would typically slide into that role, but he was placed on season-ending IR in September.
Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reported earlier today (via Twitter) that the Texans had not yet reached out to veteran free agents like Jason Campbell and Rex Grossman. Still, John McClain of the Houston Chronicle tweets that the team will indeed add a veteran to be the No. 2 behind Hoyer, with ESPN’s Tania Ganguli reporting (via Twitter) that the club is working to bring back T.J. Yates, who was cut by the Falcons prior to the regular season.
Mallett, who initially joined the Texans prior to the 2014 season, started six games over the last two years for the team, totaling 1,170 passing yards, five touchdowns, and six interceptions during his time in Houston. Having signed a new two-year, $7MM contract with the Texans earlier this year, Mallett still has a little guaranteed money coming his way this year. However, Houston won’t have to carry any dead money on its cap in 2016, since the 27-year-old’s deal didn’t include a signing bonus.
Because Mallett has more than four years of NFL experience, he’ll become a free agent immediately without having to pass through waivers. His stock isn’t particularly high at the moment, but Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald (Twitter link) wonders if the Bills – who have lost two games with EJ Manuel as their starter – might circle back on Mallett after showing interest last offseason.