The New England Patriots are expected to part ways with a member of their quarterback depth chart. As first reported by Sirius XM’s Adam Caplan, the team is planning to release Brian Hoyer ahead of the start of free agency on Mar. 15.
Hoyer, 37, entered the offseason as one of three quarterbacks on New England’s roster alongside Mac Jones and backup Bailey Zappe. With Jones locked into the starting spot and Zappe playing some solid football as an injury replacement in 2022, however, the veteran is now the odd man out.
Hoyer was on his third stint with the Patriots. An undrafted rookie free agent out of Michigan State, he spent three seasons as Tom Brady’s backup between the 2009 and 2011 seasons.
Following his release in favor of second-year passer Ryan Mallett in 2012, Hoyer moved on to join the Pittsburgh Steelers and Arizona Cardinals before eventually signing with the Cleveland Browns in 2013.
He started 16 games for the team over a two-year stretch and joined the Houston Texans in 2015. One year later, Hoyer was picked up by the Chicago Bears before a half-season stint with the San Francisco 49ers that led to him arriving in New England again in 2017. He earned a Super Bowl ring during his second tenure with the Patriots, but was let go again in 2019 after losing the QB2 spot to then-rookie Jarrett Stidham.
After one year with the Indianapolis Colts, Hoyer returned to New England in 2020. He had been with the team ever since, starting two of its games along the way — one of which during the 2022 season, when he replaced Mac Jones in Week 4 against Green Bay.
However, he suffered a concussion in the first quarter of that game knocked him out for the remainder of the season. The injury gave the rookie Zappe an opportunity to prove himself, and to now officially surpass the veteran on the depth chart.
With Hoyer headed out the door, the Patriots will have to absorb a $1.64 million dead cap charge: $1.4 million of his 2023 salary was fully guaranteed, as was his $240,000 signing bonus proration.