Source: Brian Hoyer Will Explore Opportunities for Starting Quarterback Job As Restricted Free Agent

Source: Brian Hoyer Will Explore Opportunities for Starting Quarterback Job As Restricted Free AgentBy extending a second-round tender to quarterback Brian Hoyer on Tuesday, the Patriots appeared to be giving him an honest opportunity to find a starting job somewhere else this offseason.

As it turns out, Hoyer will take them up on that offer.

Hoyer, a restricted free agent, will explore his opportunities to become a starting quarterback around the league, according to a source. It won't be overly easy for Hoyer, since any potential suitor will have to fork over a second-round draft pick, but Hoyer still plans to take matters into his own hands.

Hoyer can be free to field contract offers from other teams from March 17-April 21. If he receives an offer, the Patriots will have the opportunity to match it or let him walk for a second-round pick as compensation.

In reality, Hoyer's search is responsible due diligence. The Michigan State product has always had the right mentality since going undrafted in 2009. He's been a maturing backup in New England who has worked himself into position to become viewed as one of the most coveted backups in the league.

Hoyer will have an opportunity to start at some point, even if it's not until next year when he becomes an unrestricted free agent. But he'll at least put in the work this offseason to find a team that will let him compete for its top gig.

Have a question for Jeff Howe? Send it to him via Twitter at @jeffphowe or send it here. He will pick a few questions to answer every week for his mailbag.

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