Sports

Patriots trade Mallet to Texans, leaving Garoppolo to back up Brady

New York Giants' Mike Patterson, third from left, sacks New England Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo during the first half of an NFL preseason football game, Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

New York Giants' Mike Patterson, third from left, sacks New England Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo during the first half of an NFL preseason football game, Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)  (The Associated Press)

The New England Patriots have traded quarterback Ryan Mallet to the Houston Texans.

The move means second-round draft choice Jimmy Garoppolo will be the backup to two-time MVP Tom Brady. Mallet back up Harvard product Ryan Fitzpatrick in Houston.

Originally a third-round draft pick from Arkansas, Mallet played four games in three years with the Patriots, completing one pass.

The Patriots picked Garoppolo this year in the second round — the highest coach Bill Belichick has selected a quarterback in New England. In the preseason, Garoppolo was 46 for 79 for 618 yards, five touchdowns and an interception; Mallet was 14 for 26 for 161 yards and a touchdown.

Also Sunday, the Patriots claimed defensive linemen Bruce Gaston and Kelcy Quarles off waivers. New England released linebacker Chris White.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL