New England Patriots Trade Speculation: What Could They Get for Brian Hoyer?

Erik FrenzSenior Writer IAugust 13, 2011

FOXBORO, MA - AUGUST 11:  Brian Hoyer #8 of the New England Patriots passes the ball in the second quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars on August 11, 2011 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

Okay, so it's a little early to anoint Brian Hoyer the next quarterback of the future, especially since the New England Patriots back-up quarterback has never started an NFL game.

One has to wonder, though, if Kevin Kolb yielded a second-round pick and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in a trade with the Arizona Cardinals, what could the Patriots get for their back-up signal caller?

Much of the talk after the Patriots drafted Ryan Mallett was that the team would try to raise his stock and flip him for a higher draft pick, but which would it be easier to upgrade—an undrafted free agent with two years of experience, or a third round pick entering his rookie year?

Hoyer has completed 26-of-42 attempts (61 percent completions), 264 yards, a touchdown and an interception in 10 games without a start. That's not exactly lighting it up, but it's not stinking up the joint, either.

His performance against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday night in the first preseason game was pretty impressive, even if preseason games never made anyone a Hall of Famer. He went 15-for-21 (70 percent completions) for 171 yards and a touchdown against the turquoise and teal Florida cats.

Quarterback play is always at a premium, and though Hoyer hasn't proven himself to be a legitimate week-in, week-out starter in the NFL, neither has Kolb, and he helped the Philadelphia Eagles collect quite the bounty.

We know Belichick's radar is pinged by the "v" card—value, that is. A trade could be a season away at the least, but it's worth pointing out that the value could be there if Hoyer continues to have more solid performances in relief duty for Tom Brady.

That being said, the value may not be there unless Hoyer has a chance to do it in the regular season, a la Matt Cassel in '08. That doesn't mean that Tom Brady has to go down for the entire season again, but it's highly unlikely that a team will invest in Hoyer based solely on his preseason performances.

With that in mind, a trade would be a long-range projection dependent on variables out of anyone's control.

The trade would also depend on Ryan Mallett's readiness to assume the back-up quarterback role for the Patriots. Bill Belichick won't just trade a valuable back-up away if he doesn't have someone ready to step in should anything happen to Tom Brady. 

Mallett played well in the second half of the preseason game against the Jaguars, but so did everyone in a Patriots uniform.

As always, this speculation is all in fun, and one can never predict these things—would anyone have guessed on Randy Moss' trade before Week 4 of the 2010 season?—but with Belichick at the helm, it always comes down to value. 

What easier way to get value than to trade an undrafted quarterback for a draft pick?

Erik Frenz is the co-host of the PatsPropaganda and Frenz podcast. Follow Erik on Twitter @erikfrenz.