Brian Hoyer Released by Texans: Latest Comments and Reaction

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist

Houston Texans quarterback Brian Hoyer (7) sits on the bench during the second half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
Eric Christian Smith/Associated Press

After spending a king's ransom to sign Brock Osweiler in free agency, the Houston Texans had little need for Brian Hoyer. They officially announced Tuesday that they had released the quarterback. 

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport and ESPN's Adam Caplan first reported Sunday that Hoyer had been released.

Rapoport noted the Texans were looking for a potential trade partner but "did right by [Hoyer]" by releasing him.

"It's part of the business," Hoyer said, per Mark Berman of Fox 26. "To be honest, I've just got to worry about my family and moving on to the next part."

Dom Cosentino of NJ.com reported that Hoyer "is scheduled to fly to New Jersey on Tuesday for a meeting with the Jets in Florham Park that will continue into Wednesday, according to a person with knowledge of the situation." Newsday Sports confirmed the report. 

Cosentino noted that "Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports and Boomer Esiason of WFAN radio were first to report Hoyer's pending visit to the Jets."

Hoyer, 30, was due to make $4 million in base salary and had a $859,375 roster bonus due for 2016. None of that money was guaranteed, so Houston will not have a cap hit. The team signed Osweiler for four years and $72 million, and considering that price tag, paying his backup $4 million didn't look like a smart use of resources.

Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reported the Texans ultimately saved $5.015 million against the salary cap and are $11.451 million under the cap limit after the release.

Hoyer threw for 2,606 yards and 19 touchdowns against seven interceptions in 2015. While those were decent stats, Hoyer was benched at multiple points for Ryan Mallett and never engendered much faith from head coach Bill O'Brien.

By the time Houston sent Mallett packing, Hoyer wound up spending the rest of his season struggling with injuries. He appeared in only 11 games overall, with T.J. Yates and Brandon Weeden each getting turns toward the end of the season. His return for Houston's playoff game could not have gone worse, as Hoyer threw four interceptions and fumbled twice (losing one) in a 30-0 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

"There’s no one who feels lower than I do right now, but one day does not make my career. One game does not make my career," Hoyer said, per Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk.

For his career, Hoyer has appeared in 43 games for four franchises. He has a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 38-26. His teams are 15-11 in games in which he's been the starting quarterback.

The Texans undoubtedly want a better long-term option under center, but Hoyer wouldn't have been a terrible choice. Football Outsiders' DYAR (defense-adjusted yards above replacement) and DVOA (defense-adjusted value over average) metrics ranked him 20th among quarterbacks last season, and "average" is probably good enough for a playoff berth with Houston's defense. 

Hoyer will now be playing for his third team in as many seasons. The New York Jets are the only potential suitors where Hoyer could wind up as a starter, but their stalled negotiations with Ryan Fitzpatrick have to end at some point. As the Texans learned firsthand last season, replacing Fitzpatrick with Hoyer isn't an ideal outcome.

Hoyer is a serviceable enough backup that he won't have any trouble finding work. Half the teams in the league would likely improve their backup situations by signing him. 

As it stands, the Texans obviously want to make it clear Osweiler is their guy going forward. Releasing Hoyer now just makes things easier. 

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