During his Sunday morning conference call, Bill Belichick offered a brief explanation for one of the New England Patriots’ most significant roster cuts.
The Patriots decided Saturday to release veteran backup quarterback Brian Hoyer, installing fourth-round rookie Jarrett Stidham as their new No. 2 behind starter Tom Brady.
“I thought both players played well in camp, and I like both players,” Belichick said of Hoyer and Stidham. “But in the end, there were a number of considerations that you have to make, so we did what we thought was best for the team.”
Belichick did, however, leave open the possibility of Hoyer rejoining the Patriots at some point. Because he is a vested veteran, the 33-year-old signal-caller would not need to pass through waivers before signing with New England or elsewhere.
“I think Brian is a good player, and it’s a long season, so we’ll see what happens,” Belichick said.
Hoyer posted strong numbers in the Patriots’ first two preseason games (18-for-22, 202 yards, two touchdowns, one interception) before sitting out the final two. Stidham played in all four, completing 61 of 90 passes for 741 yards and four touchdowns with one pick.
The Patriots have not entered a season with three quarterbacks on their 53-man roster since 2011.