NFL

Is the 3rd Time the Charm for Brian Hoyer and the New England Patriots?

Brady’s 2019 exit left the Patriots with a choice of Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer to take over as the starter — until July when they signed Cam Newton who earned the starting job in training camp. Hoyer is in his third stint with the team, andnd the Patriots hope the third time will be the charm.

Brian Hoyer: NFL journeyman

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Hoyer is entering his 12th season in the NFL, in a career that began in 2009 when the Patriots signed him as an undrafted free agent out of Michigan State. After three seasons as Brady’s backup, he would go on to play for four different teams over the next five seasons. 

Hoyer began the 2017 season with the 49ers, his sixth NFL team, but they cut him on Halloween and the Patriots signed him the next day. He remained on the Patriots in 2018, then moved to the Colts for the 2019 season. Hoyer signed a one-year contract with the Patriots in March, a day after the Colts cut the 34-year-old.

Despite being in the league as long as he has, Hoyer hasn’t had much playing time. He has appeared in just 69 games, with 38 starts, going 16-22 in those contests. He has completed just over 59% of his passes for 10,274 yards and 52 touchdowns and 34 interceptions.

The battle to replace Tom Brady

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Entering the summer, the media expected Hoyer and Stidham to compete to become the Patriots’ starter. In a profile of Hoyer, Boston.com listed some of the strengths and weaknesses from Hoyer’s draft profile when he was coming out of college. Among the positives were “good overall accuracy” and being an “efficient game manager.”

On the other side of the coin, scouts didn’t think he was good at recognizing when the pocket was collapsing, leading to him taking big hits, and his lack of speed — his 5.02 40 time was the fourth slowest of 20 quarterbacks at the 2009 combine. Of course, neither Hoyer or Stidham got the role, with Newton taking it — as expected after he signed with New England.

Brady and Bill Belichick talk about Hoyer

Both Brady and Belichick have had good things to say about Hoyer over the years. Brady has called him “a great player who worked hard to develop himself into a starting-caliber NFL quarterback.” He also called him “a great friend” and said that he wasn’t surprised

Hoyer succeeded once he got a chance to start with the Browns in 2013. Belichick praised the journeyman for his “mental toughness” and said he “throws a very good deep ball.”  The coach also acknowledged that Hoyer “helps the team win in a lot of different ways.”

Hoyer’s future with the Patriots

Patriots quarterback Brian Hoyer
Brian Hoyer of the New England Patriots stands on the sideline | Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Hoyer will be 35 years old in October, which is getting up there in age for an NFL player. Even with not much playing time, his body isn’t nearly as beat up as the typical 12-year NFL vet. But there’s a reason he’s had fewer than 40 starts over that time — because he’s not that good.

So he doesn’t have a future with the Patriots, especially since they only signed him to a one-year contract before they knew they would sign Newton. With Newton in the mix, the Patriots don’t need another veteran quarterback on the roster, so his third stint with the team will likely last just this season — if he even makes it to the end of the year before being cut.