Welcome back, Brian Hoyer.
One day after the Indianapolis Colts released Hoyer, the veteran quarterback agreed to terms Sunday with the New England Patriots, according to a report from The Boston Globe’s Jim McBride. Hoyer’s contract is a one-year deal, per NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport.
Hoyer has played 4 1/2 seasons with the Patriots over two stints. The first began when he entered the NFL as an undrafted rookie in 2009 and ran through the end of the 2012 preseason. The second ran from the middle of the 2017 season through last August, with New England releasing him after rookie Jarrett Stidham won the top backup spot behind Tom Brady.
Hoyer’s greatest asset is his knowledge of Josh McDaniels’ offense. With offseason programs delayed indefinitely to restrict the spread of COVID-19, learning the Patriots’ system before the 2020 season would be challenging for a QB without prior New England experience.
The 34-year-old journeyman also has spent time with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Arizona Cardinals, Cleveland Browns, Houston Texans, Chicago Bears, San Francisco 49ers and, most recently, Indianapolis Colts, for whom he appeared in four games last season as Jacoby Brissett’s backup.
With Brady now in Tampa Bay, Hoyer joins Stidham and Cody Kessler on the Patriots’ quarterback depth chart. While time remains for additional moves at the position, this signing strongly suggests New England expects Stidham will be ready to start this season. Drafting a QB to add to this group also would make sense.
The Patriots also agreed to terms Sunday with former New York Jets linebacker Brandon Copeland, per McBride’s report.