Several key free agency moves for Houston took place earlier this week in a whirlwind of announcements that mostly revolved around the quarterback position. A few of the announcements included two linebackers, the most accomplished player in the Texans' brief history, and his departure to join division rival Indianapolis Colts.
The Swinging Door of Free Agency at NRG Stadium
- Ryan Mallett agreed to a 2-year deal to remain in Houston.
- Andre Johnson was released by the Texans.
- Brooks Reed agreed to terms with the Atlanta Falcons shortly after free agency started.
- Houston traded Case Keenum to the Rams for a 7th-round draft pick in 2016.
- It was announced that linebacker Jeff Tarpinian will stay with the Texans.
- Brian Hoyer signed a 2-year contract with Houston to reunite with coaches Bill O'Brien, George Godsey and former Patriots teammate Ryan Mallett. Hoyer will attempt to push Mallett for the starting quarterback job.
- Andre Johnson signed with the Colts and sent Houston fans into a frenzy of mixed emotions.
- The Texans traded Ryan Fitzpatrick to the Jets for a conditional 6th-round or 7th-round draft pick in 2016.
Ryan Mallett Wanted Houston
Here are various quotes regarding Ryan Mallett's excitement to remain in Houston to try and earn the starting role as the Texans quarterback for 2015 and beyond:
CBS Sports Radio 610 provided the following from an interview with Ryan Mallett:
[About staying in Houston]
"It feels good to know I’m going to be here," Mallett said. "I wanted to be here. I am just ready to get started, ready for spring ball, and ready for the summer."
"That is one thing I told (my agents): ‘Make sure – I want to be here at all costs, if possible,'" Mallett said. "That’s what we ended up doing."
[Competing for the starting QB position]
"I think you always have to be (ready)," Mallett said. "Our football team is based on competition. I don’t think the quarterback position should be treated any differently. I can’t wait to get out here with the guys and go to work and get going."
[Always being around the team, even while injured and inactive]
"Regardless if I’m playing (or not). I go to practice with those guys, meetings with those guys every day. Even after I got hurt. So to me, I just wanted to be a part of it."
"We had a chance at the very end of the season to make the playoffs. I just try to help as much as I can. To be around. I didn’t want to be sulking around because I’m hurt and I can’t play. There’s nothing fun about that," Mallett said.
[O'Brien's thoughts on Mallett]
"There's no doubt about his love for the game of football," O'Brien said in late February at the Combine. "Now he's gotta be able to go out there, rehab the injury and come back and have a consistent offseason."
Chron.com shared this on their site:
"I didn’t want it to linger," Mallett said at NRG Stadium, a day after agreeing to a new two-year, $7 million contract with the Texans. "I’m ready to get to work. This is where I want to be."
He added: "This is a great city. I had a good experience last year. I wasn’t on the same page when I got here but I am now."
It has been a wild ride of emotions this week. The quarterback battle in training camp is now clearly set between two former teammates who are very familiar with O'Brien's system. Mallett should have the edge over Hoyer, but he'll obviously have to earn it.
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