Former New England Patriots executive Michael Lombardi has a few rumors about the quarterback position that are notable.
First, Lombardi reports that the Cleveland Browns “made small offers” for Jimmy Garoppolo over the first half of the 2017 season, but offered “nothing near as good” as the San Francisco 49ers offer of an early 2018 second round pick. Lombardi also notes that the Browns “were not involved today,” as the Patriots were focused on shipping Garoppolo out of the AFC to the 49ers.
Lombardi also shared his thoughts on a possible Patriots replacement for Garoppolo, declaring that he “would be shocked if Hoyer was not back in New England for the next two years,” implying that a Hoyer deal would have a multi-year implication.
The Patriots need an experienced back-up for the rest of the 2017 season and a veteran would also make sense in 2018 with New England likely to add a rookie through the draft. The fact that Hoyer, who is on a 2-year deal right now, was originally part of the Garoppolo trade adds to this notion.
So don’t be surprised if the Patriots quarterback depth chart in 2018 is Brady, Hoyer, and then a developmental prospect like Baker Mayfield or Ryan Finley.
UPDATE: ESPN’s Mike Reiss chimes in on the Hoyer connection by stating, “Multiple layers in play, I’m told that Brian Hoyer, the former Patriots back-up 2009 to 2011, who was with the 49ers, obviously affected by this trade. Adam Schefter reporting the 49ers will release him. I’m told that expect him in Foxborough, coming back to the Patriots, that is all but a done deal other than for maybe the formality of him have to get release and then would have to sign here, but that is pretty much what the Patriots are banking on- a Tom Brady, Brian Hoyer depth chart for 2017 and maybe even into next year.”