Raiders’ Brian Hoyer Considered Retirement

Brian Hoyer has gone from the Patriots’ injured reserve list to receiving key Raiders offseason reps, as Jimmy Garoppolo recovers from his latest surgery. A former UDFA, Hoyer ran the Raiders’ offense during their spring work.

This unusual opportunity comes after the veteran quarterback considered retirement following the 2022 season, Vic Tafur of The Athletic notes (subscription required). Hoyer, 37, has been in the NFL since 2009, when he signed with New England. A multi-stint Patriot backup, Hoyer wrapped his latest run with the team last season.

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Before Bailey Zappe received an unexpected chance to start as a rookie, Hoyer replaced Mac Jones after the Pats starter suffered a high ankle sprain. Hoyer started against the Packers in October and completed 5 of 6 passes, but he made it just 15 snaps before a concussion sidelined him. The journeyman arm did not play again last season. Hoyer was not expected to miss the rest of the year and believed he was ready to be activated later in the season, but the Pats kept him on IR.

The Raiders, who have brought in several ex-Josh McDaniels Patriots charges, had Hoyer on their radar as a mentor type before signing Garoppolo. After a Patriots release, Hoyer secured $4.21MM guaranteed on a two-year, $4.5MM contract. That proved enough to convince the 14-year vet to keep going. The Raiders attempted to retain Jarrett Stidham, but he opted for a $5MM guarantee to be Russell Wilson‘s Broncos backup. Hoyer will turn 38 in October. While the Michigan State alum has not made more than one start in a season since 2017 — when he opened the Kyle Shanahan era as San Francisco’s starter — Garoppolo’s injury history certainly opens the door for a late-career opportunity in Las Vegas.

Garoppolo is expected to be cleared from his foot surgery before training camp, but the ex-Patriots backup and 49ers starter has battled a number of maladies over the past few seasons. Signed to a three-year, $72.75MM deal — one that now includes an injury waiver — Garoppolo has missed 31 games since his September 2018 ACL tear. Since a healthy 2019 season that ended in Super Bowl LIV, Garoppolo has battled ankle, calf, thumb, shoulder and foot trouble.

The Raiders view Hoyer as a mentor to fourth-round pick Aidan O’Connell, whom Tafur adds will be groomed as a potential long-term backup. Hoyer took the first-team reps during the Silver and Black’s offseason program, but if Garoppolo goes down, it will be interesting to see if the Raiders move Hoyer into action or go with the untested O’Connell. Hoyer, who had the 2014 Browns in the playoff race and piloted the 2015 Texans to the AFC South title, has made 40 career starts. The past 12 of those have not produced a win.

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