AJ Mast/Associated Press
NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported on NFL Total Access that teams around the league reached out to New England “trying to push guys on the Patriots to see if they can get a pick back in return for one of their quarterbacks.”
Garafolo added that the Indianapolis Colts tried to trade quarterback Brian Hoyer to the Patriots, but they opted to wait until the 34-year-old became a free agent.
Hoyer was released by the Colts on Saturday in a move corresponding with the team signing Philip Rivers, and ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Sunday that the Patriots had agreed with Hoyer on a one-year deal.
Brady departed New England after 20 years as the franchise’s face. The 42-year-old future Hall of Famer, who won an all-time-most six Super Bowls as a Patriot, chose to sign a two-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week and left a glaring hole under center in New England.
Hoyer was presumably appealing to the Patriots because of their history.
New England originally signed the Michigan State product as an undrafted free agent in 2009. He served as Brady’s backup until 2011 then returned to the franchise in November 2017 after brief stints with the Arizona Cardinals (2012), Cleveland Browns (2013-14), Houston Texans (2015) and Chicago Bears (2016).
Hoyer reunited with the Pats because they reportedly told him he will have a chance to compete for the starting job:
The other quarterbacks on the Patriots’ roster are 2019 fourth-rounder Jarrett Stidham and 2016 third-rounder Cody Kessler.
As for who might be the Patriots’ Week 1 starter, team captain Devin McCourty lauded Stidham’s chances on his Double Coverage podcast Sunday night (h/t ESPN’s Mike Reiss):
“To me, there were weeks where he was just on-point. And those were some of our best weeks as a defense, mainly because Stiddy ate us up in practice leading up to the game, and I think put more pressure on us. So I really admire just how hard he works, and then I’ve got to know him off the field as well. He’s a really good guy. Young guy, but very mature. He’s married. I think the Stidhams are going to be in New England for a long time.”
Hoyer has thrown for 10,274 yards, 52 touchdowns and 34 interceptions across 69 games (38 starts) in his career. In his three New England tenures, he has thrown for 335 yards, one touchdown and one pick on 32-of-51 passing in 23 games (no starts).
Hoyer is 16-22 as a starter throughout his career.