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Brian Hoyer faces crucial stretch in quest for contract

Already the subject of contract extension speculation, Hoyer made his case with a solid performance on Thusday Night Football, broadcast exclusively on NFL Network.

Appearing on NFL Total Access Kickoff, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport said that Hoyer's agent hasn't spoken to the Browns about a new contract since the summer, but that is expected to change over the next three weeks.

One Browns source called Thursday's matchup with Cincinnati a "referendum game."

Hoyer managed the game well -- as he has all season -- and pushed the Browns into a tie for first place with the Steelers. If the Browns remain in the playoff hunt for a couple of weeks, the team's brass will likely approach him about a new contract that will pay him commensurate with an NFL starter.

Hoyer's peformance in Thursday's big win could only bolster his case. If the Browns struggle against the Texans and Falcons, though, Hoyer will be in danger of losing his starting job -- as well as the lucrative contract. 

Several key members of the organization are "starting to get antsy," Rapoport reported, via a team source, because they want to see Johnny Manziel play.

Hoyer has exceeded all expectations this season. He deserves to be rewarded for pulling the Browns out of a tailspin, even if offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's play action-heavy scheme has propped up the aerial attack.

It seems counterintuitive, however, that these next games should carry so much more weight than the other 13.

If Hoyer continues to play well up to Thanksgiving, why not ensure that he holds Manziel off the rest of the way before handing out starter's money? 

The latest Around The NFL Podcast previews every Week 10 game and recaps the Browns' blowout win over the Bengals. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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