While the Texans' depth chart undergoes its normal offseason scrutiny and the team's list of needs heading toward the draft continues to take shape, it appears the roster at the quarterback position is pretty week solidified.
It started with the signing of Ryan Mallett on Monday to a two year, $7 million deal. It continued yesterday with the trade of Case Keenum to the Rams for a conditional late round pick in 2016.
Finally, this afternoon, the shuffle at the spot alongside/behind Mallett is complete with the Texans trade of Ryan Fitzpatrick to the New York Jets for a 2016 conditional draft choice, and the signing of free agent Brian Hoyer to a two year deal.
The draft choice from the Jets would be a sixth rounder if Fitzpatrick meets certain thresholds of playing time. Otherwise, it will be a seventh round pick next year. Meanwhile, Hoyer's two year deal is worth $10 million with $4.75 million guaranteed.
Fitzpatrick was brought to Houston last season on a two year deal last March as a veteran transitional quarterback while Bill O'Brien and his staff figured out what the long-term strategy would be at the position going forward.
Statistically, you could argue 2014 was Fitzpatrick's most successful season as a pro, posting career bests in passer rating (95.3), touchdown pass percentage (5.4 percent), and the second best interception percentage (2.4 percent) of his career, however, admittedly some of the touchdown stats are skewed with the one six touchdown game he had against Tennessee the week after Ryan Mallett sustained his season ending pectoral injury.
From a wins and losses standpoint, Fitzpatrick had a .500 (or better) record as a starter for the first time in his career, going 6-6 in 12 starts. Despite the statistical personal success, though, 2014 was also the first time that Fitzpatrick was benched as an incumbent starter in his career.
After a 31-21 loss on November 2 to the Philadelphia Eagles, O'Brien decided to hand the reins over to Ryan Mallett, who went 1-1 as the starter before going on injured reserve for the remainder of the season. Fitzpatrick came back and had a career day against the Titans, beating them and Jacksonville the following week, before himself sustaining a season ending injury (broken leg) in a loss to the Colts in Indianapolis.
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After an offseason which has seen Josh McCown get a $15 million deal from the Browns and the Bills trade multiple picks for Matt Cassel, the Jets' sending a pick to the Texans for Fitzpatrick, whose cap figure this season will be $3.25 million, should come as no surprise.
The Jets currently have Geno Smith penciled in to compete with Fitzpatrick, but that could all change if, as some have suspected, the Jets choose a quarterback (most likely Oregon's Marcus Mariota) with their first round pick.
As for Hoyer, his 2014 was similar to Fitzpatrick's in that he had a respectable 7-6 record as a starter, but was replaced at one point by rookie Johnny Manziel, who (like Mallett) played two games before being sidelined by injury. Hoyer is now reunited with Bill O'Brien who was his position coach and offensive coordinator in New England his first three years in the league.