The move means second-round draft choice Jimmy Garoppolo will be New England's backup to two-time MVP Tom Brady. 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 completed 46 of 79 passes for 618 yards and five touchdowns with one interception. Mallet completed 14 of 26 passes for 161 yards and a touchdown.
In Houston, Mallet will move into the backup role to Ryan Fitzpatrick that was created when the Texans cut Case Keenum later Sunday. Keenum had been competing with rookie fourth-round pick Tom Savage for the No. 2 role behind Harvard product Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Also Sunday, the Patriots claimed defensive linemen Bruce Gaston and Kelcy Quarles off waivers. New England released linebacker Chris White.
Chiefs, Alex Smith agree on extension
Kansas City quarterback Alex Smith has agreed to a four-year, $68 million extension that includes $45 million in guaranteed money. The deal, first reported by the Kansas City Star, will keep Smith with the Chiefs through the 2018 season.
Sam clears waivers
Defensive end Michael Sam cleared waivers, then showed up hours later for his face-to-face exit meeting with St. Louis Coach Jeff Fisher, who cut him Saturday. Sam, bidding to become the NFL’s first openly gay player, declined to comment before meeting with Fisher. The Rams appeared unlikely to re-sign Sam to the 10-player practice squad because the defensive line is their strongest unit.
49ers’ McDonald arrested
San Francisco defensive tackle Ray McDonald was arrested on felony domestic violence charges, San Jose police said. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced tougher penalties last week for players accused of domestic violence. The move followed scrutiny over Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice's two-game penalty stemming from his arrest on an assault charge in February. McDonald, 29, was released from jail after posting bail.
Browns release Grossman
Rex Grossman lost his tutoring gig with the Browns. The veteran quarterback was released Sunday by Cleveland, leaving starter Brian Hoyer and rookie backup Johnny Manziel as the only quarterbacks on the Browns' roster.
Grossman signed with the Browns as a free agent on Aug. 12, brought in because of his experience running coordinator Kyle Shanahan's offense. Grossman and Shanahan spent four seasons together in Washington and one in Houston. Both Hoyer and Manziel had praised Grossman for making Shanahan's offense easier.
The 33-year-old Grossman played in Cleveland's final exhibition on Thursday night against Chicago, completing 4 of 8 passes for 80 yards.
Oakland claimed defensive end Benson Mayowa off waivers from Super Bowl champion Seattle and waived injured linebacker Kaelin Burnett to make room on the 53-man roster. . . . Washington claimed Super Bowl starting safety Duke Ihenacho off waivers from Denver. . . . San Francisco right guard Alex Boone ended his holdout, reportedly agreeing to a two-year, $6-million contract. . . . The New York Jets claimed cornerback Leon McFadden off waivers from Cleveland and released cornerback LeQuan Lewis. . . .
Jacksonville was awarded second-year tight end Mickey Shuler on a waiver claim from Atlanta and waived rookie tight end Marcel Jensen. . . . Arizona claimed outside linebacker Thomas Keiser off waivers from San Diego. . . . Minnesota claimed tight end MarQueis Gray and offensive tackle Mike Harris off waivers. . . . Tennessee claimed receivers Kris Durham and T.J. Graham and cornerback Brandon Harris off waivers. . . . Miami signed undrafted defensive backs Brandian Ross and Sammy Seamster off waivers. . . . New England claimed defensive linemen Bruce Gaston and Kelcy Quarles off waivers and released linebacker Chris White.