Patriots Free Agents 2012: Brian Hoyer

Brian Hoyer in the 2011 preseason.

Over the next few weeks, we'll be looking at each Patriots free agent and projecting whether or not they will re-sign with the Patriots this offseason;

Brian Hoyer

Age: 26

Position: Quarterback

Status: Restricted Free Agent

2011 Stats: 3 games played; 0 games started; 1/1, 22 yards, 118.8 QB Rating

Overview: Had Brian Hoyer come out of the 2012 or 2013 NFL Draft and signed with the Patriots, the team would likely be looking at their quarterback of the future. Unfortunately for Patriots fans, Patriots back-up quarterback Brian Hoyer came into the league about three or four years too early. I've seen Hoyer play at Michigan State, I've seen him at training camp, I've seen him in the preseason, and I've seen him in spot work during the regular season. Hoyer has all of the intangibles to be a solid NFL quarterback. He has poise in the pocket, has the arm to make the necessary throws, and has conducted himself in the most professional way while learning everything he can from future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady. However, heading into the 2012 offseason, the Patriots have only one more year of control over Hoyer - he's a restricted free agent. That begs the question: what do the Patriots do with Hoyer? If Hoyer plays out the final year of his deal, the Patriots likely lose him without getting any compensation (maybe a 2014 compensatory selection in the fifth round or later). The Patriots could also tender Hoyer at a high level, then trade him to a quarterback needy team for a third round pick or compensation around that level. But in that scenario, the Patriots lose a reliable back-up quarterback option and woud have to depend on the development of Ryan Mallett in a worst-case scenario. My guess: the Patriots end up tendering Hoyer at the second round level worth about $1.9 million. In this situation, Hoyer could see what type of interest he generates on the market. If a team wants to sign him to an offer sheet, then the Patriots will be happy to collect a second round pick. If not, the Patriots have Hoyer for another year, which certainly isn't a bad thing.

Prediction: Gets tendered at second round level and signs

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