The Texans have made a decision in their quarterback battle, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, who reports (via Twitter) that Brian Hoyer will open the regular season as Houston’s starting QB. Hoyer and Ryan Mallett had been vying for the position throughout the offseason and into the preseason.
Both Hoyer and Mallett signed two-year contracts with the Texans this past March, with Mallett getting a $7MM deal from the team, while Hoyer received a $10.5MM pact. While Mallett had the advantage of having spent the 2014 season in Houston, Hoyer has the more extensive résumé as a starter, having started 17 career games, including 13 last season for the Browns. Mallett has just two career starts.
The decision shouldn’t have a real impact on the Texans’ roster or on either quarterback’s short-term contract prospects, since both Mallett and Hoyer – along with third QB Tom Savage – are on multiyear deals. All three signal-callers still appear very likely to make the regular-season roster. It’s also not guaranteed that Hoyer will finish the season as the Texans’ starting quarterback.
Still, if Hoyer takes the job and runs with it, it could have a serious long-term impact on the earning potential of him and Mallett. At $5.25MM per year, Hoyer would be one of the least expensive veteran starters in the league, and he’d be due for a raise after next season if he hangs onto the job and plays well.