A former New England Patriots quarterback just hit the open market.
Shortly after officially announcing the signing of veteran signal-caller Philip Rivers, the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday released Brian Hoyer, their backup last season.
Hoyer has suited up for eight teams since entering the NFL as an undrafted rookie in 2009, including two separate tours with the Patriots. His most recent stint in New England stretched from the middle of the 2017 season (after the Jimmy Garoppolo trade) to the end of the 2019 preseason, when he was released after Jarrett Stidham beat him out for the top backup job.
The 34-year-old then went on to Indianapolis, where he backed up another ex-Patriot, Jacoby Brissett. Hoyer appeared in four games for the Colts with one start, completing 53.8 percent of his passes for 372 yards and four touchdowns with four interceptions. His release suggests Indy likely is holding on to Brissett, who’d been mentioned as a potential trade target.
Could a third go-round in Foxboro be forthcoming for the journeyman? The Patriots need to add another quarterback to compete with and/or back up Stidham and Cody Kessler after losing Tom Brady to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in free agency, and Hoyer’s knowledge of Josh McDaniels’ offense would make for an easy transition.
Hoyer would be open to returning to the Patriots as a backup, according to Jeff Howe of The Athletic.
That prior Patriots experience would be especially valuable this offseason, as COVID-19 precautions could keep players away from team facilities until this summer or later. The NFL already has delayed the start of offseason team programs indefinitely, meaning players who change teams will have less time and fewer practice opportunities to learn new systems.