The New England Patriots weren’t the only AFC East team interested in signing Brian Hoyer.
Before Hoyer re-upped with New England this week, the New York Jets made multiple attempts to sign the veteran quarterback to back up No. 2 overall pick Zach Wilson, according to a report Thursday from ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.
“… but Hoyer lives in the New England area,” Fowler reported on Twitter, “and his familiarity with Patriots helped put signing with N.E. over the top.”
Hoyer overlapped with new Jets head coach Robert Saleh and offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur in San Francisco. With a current depth chart of Wilson, James Morgan and Mike White — all of whom have yet to appear in a regular-season NFL game — the 35-year-old would have had a strong chance of entering the season as New York’s second-string quarterback.
He’ll have no such assurance with the Patriots and likely will be competing with Jarrett Stidham for one roster spot this summer. Cam Newton currently is QB1 in New England, and the team drafted Mac Jones 15th overall last month.
Hoyer played for the Patriots from 2009 to 2012 and 2017 to 2019 before returning to Foxboro last offseason. He beat out Stidham for the top backup job behind Newton in training camp, but he was demoted to third string after struggling in a Week 4 spot start and did not dress for the final 12 games.
With a deeper knowledge of Josh McDaniels’ offense than any active Patriots player, New England likely will task Hoyer with mentoring Jones as the Alabama product adjusts to the NFL game.
The Patriots are scheduled to begin organized team activities next week.