Brian Hoyer’s third tour with the New England Patriots is nearing its official end.
The organization plans to release the veteran quarterback by early league year 2023, as SiriusXM’s Adam Caplan from NFL Radio First reported on Saturday.
Hoyer, 37, arrived at Foxborough in 2009 as an undrafted rookie from Michigan State. He returned as Tom Brady’s primary backup in 2017 and as the Cam Newtons in 2020 after being signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Arizona Cardinals, Cleveland Browns and Houston Texans. Chicago Bears, San Francisco 49ers and Indianapolis Colts.
In 76 games and 40 starts under center, the well-travelled Super Bowl LIII champion has completed 59.4% of his passes for 10,668 yards with 53 touchdowns and 35 interceptions.
“Brian helps me with things that he’s seen,” Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said in 2021. “He’s been with a lot of other teams, been with other coaches, been in other systems. We talk about plays in situations and he has a lot of good ideas or memories of how someone else did something that could be something we can learn from or something we can use and so on.”
Prior to being given an unrestricted free hand last offseason, Hoyer signed a two-year, $4 million contract extension. His forthcoming cap is $1.934 million. But with $1.4 million in fully guaranteed salary remaining and $240,000 in signing bonus shares, the upcoming release will result in $1.64 million in dead money for the Patriots, according to OverTheCap.com.
Hoyer, who suffered a concussion during his lone performance last season, went 5 of 6 passes for 37 yards against the Green Bay Packers before being placed on injured reserve. The Oct. 6 transaction left rookie Bailey Zappe at the top of the active roster’s depth chart as second starter Mac Jones recovered from a high ankle sprain.
Zappe, 23, completed 70.7% of his passes in four games and two starts in 2022. The fourth-rounder over Houston Baptist and Western Kentucky finished the game with 781 yards in the air for five touchdowns and three interceptions. And Jones, 24, completed 65.2% of his passes in 14 starts in the 8-9 season after reaching the Pro Bowl as a rookie alternate. The former No. 15 overall from Alabama finished with 2,997 yards, 14 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
With Bill O’Brien returning to New England as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, the room is now moving forward with the two picks from the previous two draft classes.
The veteran market is about to see further movement. The 2023 NFL year begins March 15 at 4:00 p.m. ET.