5:31pm: The Jets have legitimate interest in signing Hoyer and could offer him a contract by Wednesday, according to CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora, who adds that it wouldn’t necessarily preclude them from bringing back Fitzpatrick. Rich Cimini of ESPN.com is less convinced, classifying the Jets’ decision to visit with Hoyer as due diligence – not unlike their meeting with Robert Griffin III in March.
8:42am: With Brian Hoyer officially back on the open market, the Jets aren’t wasting any time in expressing their interest in the veteran signal-caller. According to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (via Twitter), Hoyer is paying a visit to the Jets, and that meeting will get underway today.
[RELATED: Texans release Brian Hoyer]
Hoyer, 30, made nine starts and appeared in 11 total games for the Texans in 2015, and enjoyed his best season as a pro. The Michigan State product completed more than 60% of his passes, throwing for 2,606 yards, 19 touchdowns, and just seven interceptions. Houston went 5-4 in his starts.
Despite Hoyer’s solid performance, he became expendable when the Texans went out and signed Brock Osweiler to a four-year, $72MM deal in free agency last month. With veteran backup Brandon Weeden also on the roster, and 2014 fourth-rounder Tom Savage in the mix as well, Houston opted against paying Hoyer a $4MM salary, plus per-game roster bonuses.
While the Jets are the first team Hoyer will visit, New York is not his only potential suitor. Adam Caplan of ESPN.com tweets that four or five other clubs are interested in Hoyer, and we heard on Sunday that the Steelers may be one of those teams. The Broncos will likely kick the tires on Hoyer as well, and the Cowboys reportedly have interest “at the right price.”
Of course, as Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News tweets, the Jets’ preference continues to be re-signing their 2015 starter, Ryan Fitzpatrick. However, a report earlier this week suggested that Fitzpatrick and the Jets are unlikely to reach an agreement before this year’s draft gets underway.
For the Jets, Hoyer represents both a viable Plan B and a way to gain leverage in negotiations with Fitzpatrick. Even if Hoyer ultimately signs with another team, it could benefit Gang Green, since it would potentially eliminate another suitor for Fitzpatrick, reducing his options.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.