Patriots to sign QB Brian Hoyer, joins NE for third stint

In the wake of the seismic changes in their quarterback room, the New England Patriots have turned to a familiar face.

34-year-old Brian Hoyer.

Hoyer, who last played for the Pats in 2018, is nearing a return to the organization, according to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport on Sunday. The terms have not yet been disclosed but Rapoport added that it would be a one-year deal.

Jim McBride of the Boston Globe first reported the news.

He will receive roughly $1 million from New England, $1 million from the Colts that was already guaranteed before they released him and $2 million more available in incentives, Rapoport later reported.

"If someone offered him $5 million or $6 million to be backup, Brian still would've wanted to be back in New England," his agent told Rapoport. "They gave him a chance to compete for the starting job and that's all he asked for."

Hoyer was released by New England last August after losing his backup job to 2019 fourth-round pick Jarrett Stidham. Hoyer is set to re-join a QB depth chart that include Stidham and Cody Kessler, who held down the third-string spot behind Stidham and Tom Brady.

Brady's departure to sunny Tampa, Florida has left the position -- and the organization -- in a state of flux as they search for a new identity for the first time in 20 years.

Hoyer's arrival by no means tips Bill Belichick's hand but it is an interesting move to bring back a guy who is already familiar with the system. Still, the team could look to the draft or a number of available, former QB1s looking for new homes (Andy Dalton? Cam Newton? Jameis Winston?) to fill the starting role. Though, Winston is reportedly unlikely to be a target.

He appeared in 13 games, in relief of Brady, during his first stint (2009-11) and completed 27 of his 43 attempts for 286 yards, a touchdown and an interception. His last run, which lasted 10 combined games from 2017-18, saw him account for just 49 yards (5-of-7).

He played in four games for the Colts last season; in relief of Jacoby Brissett in Week 8, Hoyer tallied 168 yards, three scores and an INT. He started in Week 9 to the Dolphins and went 18-of-39 for 204 yards, a TD and three picks in a loss. He was released by the team on Saturday.

New England also intend to sign former Jets linebacker Brandon Copeland.

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