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Houston Texans' trade for Ryan Mallett could set Tom Savage further behind

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Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

This was easy to miss with all the excitement around Pitt's big win over Delaware this weekend, but the Houston Texans made an interesting move at quarterback.

That's relevant to us only because former Pitt quarterback Tom Savage is currently with the Texans. Savage was competing with Case Keenum for the backup job, but Houston, apparently not satisfied with their current stable, traded for the New England Patriots' Ryan Mallett for a sixth round pick.

Afterwards, they then cut Keenum.

Since Savage was battling Keenum for the job, it looks like the former Pitt quarterback could have been the pick to back up starter Ryan Fitzpatrick since the team dealt Keenum instead of Savage. But now, Savage again has more competition for the No. 2 job in Mallett.

Mallett became expendable with the addition of 2014 NFL Draft pick Jimmy Garoppolo. Mallett was the Patriots' third-round pick in 2011 and making things more interesting is that he has experience working with the Texans' head coach, Bill O'Brien. O'Brien was the Patriots offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach while Mallett was there earlier in his career.

It might be too early to tell, but the addition probably places Savage in a slightly lesser spot. It makes little sense for the Texans to acquire Mallett and trade away a draft pick if they were only planning to utilize him as a third-string quarterback. Fact is that it's difficult to not see him as the backup to start. That, of course, bumps Savage down to third string when he was competing for the backup job in camp.

Savage may still get his chance in Houston, but the addition of Mallett means he has another hurdle to overcome.

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