New England Patriots quarterback Brian Hoyer attended his first practice with the team since the summer of 2012 as the back-up to Tom Brady. We also know the base details of his contract, thanks to this report by ESPN’s Field Yates.
Brian Hoyer's deal with the Patriots:— Field Yates (@FieldYates) November 2, 2017
2019: $2.85M base ($1.5M guaranteed) & a $200k roster bonus.
Hoyer is scheduled to receive:
2019: $2.85 million ($1.5 million guaranteed) + $200,000 roster bonus
Hoyer is under contract for the veteran’s minimum with the Patriots for both 2017 and 2018, which is a huge bargain for the team. Hoyer likely could have received more money from another team, but now the Patriots have no incentive to move on from him until the 2019 season, giving Hoyer some job security.
Hoyer received $6.95 million guaranteed from the 49ers earlier this offseason, along with $2.90 million guaranteed in 2018, so he’s not too strapped for cash ($9.85 million guaranteed!) and clearly willing to take a discount. In other words, the 49ers are paying Hoyer to be the Patriots back-up for 2017 and 2018.
The Patriots will likely draft a quarterback in the 2018 NFL Draft to groom as Brady’s successor and Hoyer’s presence in 2018 will allow that rookie to develop as the third-string option.
Hoyer’s 2019 year is super interesting to me because of the guaranteed money. He gets an extra $200,000 for making the roster, so I wonder about the structure for the $1.5 million guaranteed. $1.03 million is the veteran’s minimum for Hoyer in 2019, which means that the Patriots are paying him roughly $1.82 million over the minimum.
The $3.05 million that Hoyer would receive if he’s on the Patriots roster in 2019 is not too different from the $2.95 million or the $2.90 million that the 49ers guaranteed Hoyer in 2017 and 2018, too, so that was a likely negotiating point.
So if Hoyer stays with the team in 2019, it will be because he’s continuing to outperform the rookie the Patriots added to the team. And since it’s his base salary that is guaranteed in 2019, it doesn’t have an effect on the salary cap this year or the next, giving the Patriots additional freedom to build the roster.
The Patriots now have an extremely cheap veteran back-up quarterback for the remainder of 2017 and 2018, and that back-up will have to prove his worth to stick around in 2019. If the Patriots move on from Hoyer because the rookie is playing well enough to be the back-up, they’ll still pay Hoyer for giving New England peace of mind looking forward at the next few years.