Other teams expressed interest in Brian Hoyer, but in the end the veteran decided to stay put after all. Hoyer signed a one-year contract with the New England Patriots, returning to a familiar quarterback room — but one that looked different from 2020’s in one major way: Mac Jones has been added to the mix via the first round of the draft.
Despite the added layer of competition, however, re-signing with the Patriots was a no-brainer for Hoyer.
“For me, this is where I wanted to be; to be a part of this group to obviously help them with the knowledge that I have but to also go out there and compete and push them, and really not only help them but help the offense and help the team in any way that I can,” he said during a recent media conference call.
Heading into his 13th season in the NFL, Hoyer is the most experienced passer on New England’s roster. While Cam Newton has more starting experience, Hoyer has spent a total of six years as a member of the organization — first as Tom Brady’s backup, and last year as the number three behind Newton and Jarrett Stidham.
He knows the offense, and is well aware of the fact that it is also his duty to help groom Jones and also assist the other two QBs.
“I think I have a responsibility in the quarterback room and the team in general. I have some of the most experience in this group and on this team. To impart that knowledge is obviously a big part of my role here — but also to go out and compete and to push these guys every day. It’s been fun obviously to get back with Cam and Stiddy, and then bring Mac along and get to know him; he’s a great kid and he’s working really hard,” Hoyer said.
“I noticed him coming ask me a lot of questions and to get my feedback. I remember doing the same thing with Stidham three years ago now, or Danny Etling the year before that. For me, whether it’s Mac, Jarrett, Cam — Cam asked me a question today about something — that’s my responsibility as being the most experienced quarterback in that room: to share that wealth of knowledge and to go from there.”
Despite his knowledge of the system and value as a veteran leader to help bring Jones up to speed, Hoyer is far from a lock to make New England’s roster this year. The team traditionally carries no more than three passers on its active team, and Hoyer has been the clear No. 4 in terms of opportunities during mandatory minicamp.
His experience could have played a role in this, yes, but Hoyer’s upside — as was shown during his lone start in place of Newton last season — remains limited compared to the other QBs under contract. Regardless of his eventual outlook, however, he still plays a prominent role at the moment. The Patriots and their first-round quarterback might be better off in the long run because of it.