Brian Hoyer’s third tour with the New England Patriots nears its official end.
The organization plans to release the veteran quarterback by the beginning of 2023 league year, as SiriusXM NFL Radio’s Adam Caplan first reported Saturday.
Hoyer, 37, arrived in Foxborough as an undrafted rookie out of Michigan State in 2009. He returned as Tom Brady’s primary backup in 2017 as well Cam Newton’s in 2020, following stops with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Arizona Cardinals, Cleveland Browns, Houston Texans, Chicago Bears, San Francisco 49ers and Indianapolis Colts.
Through 76 games and 40 starts under center, the well-traveled Super Bowl LIII champion has completed 59.4% of his passes for 10,668 yards with 53 touchdowns and 35 interceptions.
“Brian helps me with things that he’s seen,” Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said in 2021. “He’s been with a lot of other teams, been with other coaches, been in other systems. We talk about plays in situations, and he has a lot of good either ideas or recollections of the way somebody else did something, which might be something to learn from or might be something that we can use and so forth.”
Prior to unrestricted free agency last offseason, Hoyer signed a two-year contract extension worth $4 million. His upcoming cap charge checked in at $1.934 million. But with $1.4 million remaining fully guaranteed in salary, along with $240,000 in signing bonus proration, the impending release will result in $1.64 million in dead money for the Patriots, according to OverTheCap.com.
Hoyer, who sustained a concussion during his lone appearance last campaign, went 5-of-6 passing for 37 yards against the Green Bay Packers before being placed on injured reserve. The Oct. 6 transaction left rookie Bailey Zappe atop the active roster’s depth chart as sophomore starter Mac Jones worked back from a high-ankle sprain.
Zappe, 23, went on to complete 70.7% of his passes through four games and two starts in 2022. The fourth-rounder by way of Houston Baptist and Western Kentucky finished with 781 yards through the air to go with five touchdowns and three interceptions. And Jones, 24, completed 65.2% of his passes through 14 starts during the 8-9 season after making the Pro Bowl as a rookie alternate. The former No. 15 overall pick from Alabama finished with 2,997 yards, 14 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
With Bill O’Brien returning to New England as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, the room now moves forward with the two selections from the previous two draft classes.
Additional movement lies ahead on the veteran market. The 2023 NFL year opens at 4 p.m. ET on March 15.