Brian Hoyer signs two-year deal with Niners


The quarterback chips are falling, with the latest piece landing in San Francisco.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday that the 49ers have agreed in principle on a two-year deal with free-agent quarterback Brian Hoyer, per a source informed of the discussions. The team confirmed the news Thursday. Rapoport reported Thursday, the Niners are also adding fellow Bears backup quarterback Matt Barkley.

The move reunites Hoyer with Kyle Shanahan, the newly minted Niners coach who served as the quarterback's offensive coordinator with the Browns in 2014.

Hoyer chose San Francisco over the chance to play for the New York Jets. His decision says plenty about the positive influence Shanahan's 49ers hire is having on this year's free-agent class. Along with Hoyer, the Niners on Wednesday added free-agent wideout Marquise Goodwin and are expected to land free-agent receiver Pierre Garcon, who played under Shanahan with the Redskins.

The question is whether signing Hoyer would slam the brakes on a potential trade with Washington for quarterback Kirk Cousins. If so, it shouldn't.

Hoyer played some of his best football under Shanahan in Cleveland, guiding the lowly Browns to an unlikely 6-3 record in the coach's rollout-heavy offense. His play fell off sharply down the stretch, though, leaving Cleveland to turn (unwisely) to Johnny Manziel.

A career journeyman, Hoyer was serviceable for Houston in 2015 before suffering an apocalyptic meltdown in the playoffs. Last season with the Bears, the 31-year-old played just five games before his campaign was cut short by a broken arm.

Here in March, Hoyer is the only quarterback on San Francisco's roster. For Shanahan, it's far from perfect -- but it's a start.