Brian Hoyer Agrees to Reported 3-Year Contract with Patriots After 49ers Release

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistNovember 1, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - OCTOBER 08:  Brian Hoyer #2 of the San Francisco 49ers drops back to pass during the first quarter of a game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on October 8, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Brian Hoyer agreed to terms on a deal with New England Patriots, the team announced on Wednesday.

Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported Hoyer's contract with the Patriots is for three years.  

Hoyer signed a two-year, $12 million contract with the San Francisco 49ers to start the 2017 season. The Niners released the 32-year-old shortly after acquiring Jimmy Garoppolo in a trade with the Patriots.

The move was largely expected. Hoyer was a stopgap option until San Francisco found its quarterback of the future, which was what the team did with the Garoppolo trade. In addition, Hoyer struggled as the 49ers starter in the first half of the season.

In six starts, he had 1,245 passing yards, four touchdowns and four interceptions. He also completed just 58 percent of his passes.

Since he left New England prior to the 2012 season, it has become abundantly clear Hoyer shouldn't be a team's No. 1 option at quarterback. Prior to signing with the 49ers, he had uninspiring tenures with the Cleveland Browns, Houston Texans and Chicago Bears.

As a backup quarterback, Hoyer is cast in a much better role.

Only in rare circumstances is a team blessed with having two quarterbacks who would be equally suited as a starter. Sure, the idea of Hoyer taking over for Tom Brady doesn't elicit much joy from Patriots fans, but he wouldn't represent a complete disaster relative to other backups throughout the NFL.

Hoyer has 48 touchdowns to 30 interceptions in his 55 career appearances. His 2.1 percent interception rate ranks 11th among 68 quarterbacks with at least 500 attempts since 2009, according to Pro Football Reference.

What Hoyer lacks in a ceiling as an NFL quarterback he makes up for with a solid baseline. He has thrown two or more interceptions in just five of his 55 games, and he has thrown three interceptions twice.

Were he to assume the starting job, Hoyer shouldn't make the kind of crippling mistakes that can sometimes be common with backups thrown into a tough situation.

Almost instantaneously after news broke about the Garoppolo trade, some on Twitter linked Hoyer with a return to the Patriots:

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, New England and San Francisco had discussed including Hoyer in the Garoppolo trade before removing him from the final deal.

The Patriots left themselves without a backup quarterback by trading Garoppolo, and Hoyer has experience with head coach Bill Belichick's offense having played in New England from 2009 to 2011. Bringing Hoyer back was the most logical reaction after pulling off the most shocking deal ahead of the NFL trade deadline.

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