New England Patriots: Open to Trading Brian Hoyer?
A report from the Boston Globe Thursday suggests the New England Patriots are still open to trading backup quarterback Brian Hoyer. Since most teams look to have some sort of plan in place at quarterback at this point, it may take an injury during the preseason to open up trade possibilities.
Hoyer was signed by the Patriots as an undrafted free agent out of Michigan State in 2009, and as could be expected of Tom Brady’s backup has only attempted 43 passes in his three NFL seasons. That said, the team has been pleased with his development and believe Hoyer could become a starter. That opportunity is unlikely to come in New England in the near future, and Hoyer is slated to become a free agent after the 2012 season. He will turn 27 during the coming season, so theoretically he has plenty of peak seasons left in his career.
Any desire the Patriots have to trade Hoyer is certainly predicated on the development of 2011 third-round pick Ryan Mallett, who stands to continue to be groomed to be Brady’s eventual successor and has more physical upside than Hoyer.
An example of a former New England backup quarterback that landed elsewhere, and perhaps a cautionary tale for any team interested in Hoyer, is Matt Cassel. Cassel was of course pressed into action when Brady suffered a torn left ACL in Week 1 of 2008, had a nice season (3,693 passing yards, 21 touchdowns, 11 interceptions, completed 63.4 percent of his passes) and parlayed that into a six-year, $63 million deal ($28 million guaranteed) from the Kansas City Chiefs. But Cassel had a fairly ordinary first season in Kansas City (16 touchdowns, 16 interceptions), put together a nice season in 2010 (3,116 yards, 27 touchdowns, seven interceptions) in 2010 and then was limited to nine games last season due to an injury to his throwing hand.
It’s hard to speculate who may be interested in Hoyer if he is made available on the trade market at this point, but the Chiefs can’t be ruled out since Brady Quinn is currently in place as Cassel’s backup and Cassel’s job security has to be in question right now. Other teams that may come to have interest in Hoyer as a potential backup include the Indianapolis Colts, St. Louis Rams and the Denver Broncos.
All in all, it looks likely to benefit the Patriots and Hoyer to keep him as Brady’s backup in 2012, then Hoyer can explore opportunities to earn a starting job when he becomes a free agent after the season.
*photo credit – gridironfans.com