If Mallett plays at least 40 percent of the Texans' offensive snaps this season, the Texans have to give the New England Patriots a sixth-round pick. If he plays fewer, the Patriots get a seventh.
So, I did some math.
This season Ryan Fitzpatrick has played 550 snaps in the Texans' nine games. That's 61.1 snaps per game, ranking 19th in the league. Operating an offense that has had trouble staying on the field makes those numbers fairly low.
If Fitzpatrick doesn't play again this season, then Mallett would need 363 more snaps (he played in four against the Oakland Raiders) to have played in at least 40 percent of the Texans' snaps.
The Texans are giving Mallett a real chance to show what he can do, which means there's a good chance he plays out the rest of the season. In that case, it's likely he'll hit that 40 percent mark. Three-hundred fifty-three snaps is just 51.86 snaps per game and there are 35 quarterbacks who have averaged more than that this season.