Texans Re-sign Ryan Mallett
The Houston Texans re-signed quarterback Ryan Mallett to a two-year deal for $7 million, with $1.75 million guaranteed. The 26-year-old signal caller started two games in 2014 before suffering a torn pectoral muscle that ended his season.
Mallett, a former third-round draft pick of the New England Patriots, was acquired by the Texans last August for a 7th-rounder. Over a two-week span, he completed 54.7 percent of his 75 pass attempts for 400 yards, with two touchdowns and two interceptions. His debut in a win over the Browns was encouraging, unlike his disastrous follow-up start against the Bengals in which he was injured.
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During those weeks, Mallett compiled a PFF passing grade of -7.5, which was better than only Robert Griffin III (-7.6), and the man with whom he’ll compete for the starting role in Houston – Brian Hoyer (-10.7). Both Mallett and Hoyer were coached by former Patriots offensive coordinator, and current Texans head coach, Bill O’Brien.
Reported in some circles to be a first-round-level talent, the Patriots stopped Mallett’s 2011 draft day free-fall by grabbing him with the 74th pick to groom him behind Tom Brady. While the character concerns that caused his draft stock to plummet have not been an issue, his on-field questions – which include a lack of touch, accuracy and pocket mobility – remain.
During Mallett’s two-week stint as the Texans starter, he ranked 23rd in both Accuracy Percentage (62.5) and Accuracy Percentage while under pressure (46.7), among 26 qualifying quarterbacks. That is despite facing a pass rush on just 21.1 percent of his dropbacks (24th-least). His biggest asset is arm strength, yet he completed only one of his eight attempts aimed 20 or more yards downfield.
In his time as a starter, Mallett didn’t exactly maximize the talent he had at wideout. Neither DeAndre Hopkins (11.9 points; 44th) nor Andre Johnson (10.4 points; 52nd) ranked anywhere near viable starting territory in fantasy. That was despite Johnson (22; 2nd-most) and Hopkins (16; 21st) both falling well within the top-24 wideouts in targets.
If Mallett does beat out Hoyer, which is far from a given considering that his new teammate received a larger contract, with $3 million more in guaranteed money, he shouldn’t be looked at as anything more than a low-end QB2 for fantasy purposes. The best case scenario doesn’t involve Mallett thriving statistically, as much as him not severely hindering the fantasy value of Hopkins and company.
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