Brian Hoyer signs three-year contract with Patriots

No longer all alone in New England's quarterback room, Tom Brady is reuniting with an old friend.

Former 49ers signal-caller Brian Hoyer signed with the New England Patriots on Wednesday, the team announced. It's a three-year deal with the team, a source informed of the contract told NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport and NFL Network's Tom Pelissero. The move brings the journeyman back to the franchise he first played for from 2009 to 2011.

Hoyer was cut by the Niners after San Francisco acquired Jimmy Garoppolo from the Patriots on Monday in exchange for a 2018 second-round pick. That swap was originally scheduled to send Hoyer to New England, but he was yanked from the deal due to compensatory pick issues, Rapoport was told.

The Patriots weren't the only ones interested in Hoyer -- the Green Bay Packers also were interested in potentially signing him, according to Rapoport.

Hoyer gives the Patriots a known commodity who returns to the team six years later with an additional 37 starts under his belt.

In stops with the Cardinals, Browns, Texans, Bears and Niners, Hoyer has served as an up-and-down player saddled to a repeating storyline: Earn a starting role, only to crumble and ultimately find himself on the bench. Or, most recently, on the street.

Hoyer can run an offense, but he's nothing more than backup material, and a passer who occasionally morphs into a turnover machine. He's an ideal target for the Patriots, though, giving Brady and friends an experienced hand who knows the culture in Foxborough.

It's wild to ponder what has transpired under center for the Patriots. While you still have Brady flying high at age 40, the team has green-lit deals that shipped Jacoby Brissett and Garoppolo out of town, tearing apart what coach Bill Belichick called the "best quarterback situation in the league for the last -- let's call it two-and-a-half years."

Keeping such incredible depth and talent under center, though, as Belichick put it, is "just not sustainable given the way that things are set up."

Not at quarterback -- the most singular position in sports -- where having too much talent on one roster results in watching a guy like Garoppolo lose years of potential playing time to long Sundays of clipboard-holding behind the ageless (and potentially cyborg) Brady.

Put all of this together and you have Hoyer floating back East to a familiar place in yet another example of the NFL coming full circle.

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