Brian Hoyer

Colts QB Jacoby Brissett Won’t Play Sunday

NOV. 10: Brissett is considered week-to-week, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The Colts hope Brissett will return for next week’s game against the Jaguars, but nothing is certain at this point.

NOV. 9: Jacoby Brissett has been downgraded to ‘OUT’ for the Colts matchup against the Dolphins tomorrow, reports Stephen Holder of The Athletic (via Twitter). This means Brian Hoyer will take over as the starting quarterback.

Meanwhile, the Colts made a handful of moves to accommodate this lineup change. The team announced that quarterback Chad Kelly (along with wideout Marcus Johnson) has been promoted from the practice squad. To make room on the roster, the team has waived wideout Deon Cain and defensive tackle Kyle Peko.

Brissett injured his MCL during last week’s loss to the Steelers, putting a sudden halt on his breakout campaign. Taking over for Andrew Luck, the 26-year-old has completed 64.8-percent of his passes for 1,649 yards, 14 touchdowns, and three picks. He’s also added another 37 rushes for 110 yards and one score. Hoyer filled in admirably during last week’s loss, throwing for 168 yards and three touchdowns. He’ll be getting his first start since 2017.

Kelly, the Mr. Irrelevant of the 2017 Draft, was suspended for the first two games of this season. After getting waived by the Colts, he subsequently joined the team’s practice squad. Should Hoyer be sent to the sideline, Kelly could see himself playing in his second career game. Johnson, a former undrafted free agent out of Texas, has 11 career receptions for 147 yards and one touchdown.

Cain, a 2018 sixth-round pick, spent his rookie year on the injured reserve as he recovered from an ACL injury. The 23-year-old got into seven games (three starts) this season, hauling in four receptions for 52 yards. Peko, 26, was claimed off waivers from the Bills earlier this week.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Colts To Sign QB Brian Hoyer

The Colts have agreed to sign Brian Hoyer to a three-year, $12MM deal, as Adam Caplan of SiriusXM tweets. The pact includes $9MM in guarantees, giving the veteran a whole lot of fiscal security.

For the Colts, the deal gives them additional experience under center in the wake of Andrew Luck‘s retirement. Jacoby Brissett – another ex-Patriot – will remain as the team’s QB1. Hoyer will be the top clipboard holder, so it remains to be seen what they’ll do with Chad Kelly when he returns from his two-game ban.

The Patriots wanted Hoyer back, but as Jeff Howe of The Athletic (on Twitter) notes, they were only willing to do a one-year deal. The Colts won out, in part because they were willing to sign the soon-to-be 34-year-old to a three-year contract.

Hoyer, a veteran journeyman, has started games for the Browns, Texans, Bears, and 49ers and has made other stops around the league. All in all, he’s got 37 starts to his credit across ten seasons.

Colts To Meet With Brian Hoyer

The Colts, finally, might have their backup quarterback situation solved. The club will meet with quarterback Brian Hoyer, fresh off of his Saturday release from the Patriots (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero).

Hoyer is now the frontrunner to become the new backup to Jacoby Brissett, if the two sides can agree to terms, Pelissero hears. We heard earlier today that the Colts had interest, though the Patriots are also mulling a reunion.

The Colts, of course, were forced to promote Brissett to the starting job following Andrew Luck‘s surprise retirement. Chad Kelly is on hand, but he’ll be suspended to start the season. Phillip Walker was a candidate to serve as Brissett’s backup, but he was a victim of Saturday’s giant list of cuts.

Hoyer, a veteran journeyman, has started games for the Browns, Texans, Bears, and 49ers and has made other stops around the league. All in all, he’s got 37 starts to his credit across ten seasons.

Colts, Pats, Others Interested In Brian Hoyer

Brian Hoyer is already gaining significant interest on the open market. Shortly after he was released by the Patriots, we heard that the Broncos were interested. Denver has since claimed Brandon Allen off waivers from the Rams, so it’s unclear if they’re still in the market for a backup quarterback.

Even if they’re out of the running, it doesn’t sound like Hoyer will have much trouble finding a new home. The Colts are “very interested” in the journeyman, a source told Dianna Russini of ESPN (Twitter link). It looks like they’ll face some competition for his services, as Adam Caplan of Sirius XM hears that at least six teams have expressed interest in the Michigan State product (Twitter link).

The Patriots are exploring the idea of bringing Hoyer back, Jeff Howe of The Athletic tweets. He has been their backup quarterback for the past 1 1/2 seasons.

The Colts are currently without any quarterbacks behind Jacoby Brissett on the active roster, so they need to sign somebody. Andrew Luck‘s sudden retirement left them with only Phillip Walker and Chad Kelly, and Walker was just cut while Kelly is suspended for the first two games of the season.

Indy hosted Brock Osweiler for a visit this past week, and they also worked out Matt Cassel and Brandon Weeden. They should be adding a passer in the next day or two. Hoyer has bounced around the league quite a bit since entering the league as an undrafted free agent all the way back in 2009. He has at various times been the starting quarterback for the Browns, Texans, Bears, and 49ers. All told, he’s started 37 games over the past ten seasons, and spent time with seven different teams. Hoyer is always capable of playing competently in a pinch, so the Colts’ interest makes sense.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Broncos Interested In Brian Hoyer

Shortly after cutting Kevin Hogan, the Broncos look set to pursue a more experienced Joe Flacco backup.

The team is interested in Brian Hoyer, Dianna Russini of ESPN.com tweets. The Patriots released Hoyer earlier Saturday, giving their backup gig to Jarrett Stidham.

Hoyer began the 2017 season as the 49ers’ starter, working in Kyle Shanahan‘s system under QBs coach Rich Scangarello. With Scangarello now being the Broncos’ OC, this would be a natural fit. The Broncos are also unlikely to have Drew Lock available for several weeks, due to an injury the second-round pick suffered in a game against the 49ers earlier this month.

Hoyer, 33, made six starts for the 49ers two seasons ago. None of those resulted in wins, but the Broncos only have UDFA Brett Rypien as a healthy passer behind Flacco now. Given Flacco’s recent injury history, it would make sense for the team to have a more seasoned option at QB2 while Lock recovers.

Patriots Release QB Brian Hoyer

One of the top backup quarterbacks has hit the open market. ESPN’s Adam Caplan reports (via Twitter) that the Patriots are releasing veteran Brian Hoyer.

Tom Brady‘s long-time backup has had a pair of stints with New England, with his most-recent gig dating back to mid-2017. The 33-year-old has seen the field for eight pass attempts over the past two years, completing five passes for 49 yards. Hoyer started games as recently as 2017, and he had 19 touchdowns vs. seven interceptions during his 2015 run with the Texans.

While Hoyer didn’t necessarily do anything to lose his job during the preseason, the Patriots ultimately decided they didn’t want to roll with three quarterbacks. The team will now go forward with rookie fourth-rounder Jarrett Stidham as Brady’s primary backup.

Patriots Notes: Edelman, Hoyer, Punter

Over the past 10 years, there have only been two occasions where the Patriots have carried three quarterbacks. With Tom Brady and rookie fourth-rounder Jarrett Stidham being locks to make the team, Brian Hoyer understandably finds himself on the roster bubble.

“You can’t really worry about that. My approach is to just be the best I can be, and I think that will be good enough,” Hoyer told ESPN’s Mike Reiss. “It’s not something I’m really concerned with. If anything, I’m trying to push the guy ahead of me, and I love being in that room with him. We have such a healthy competition on a daily basis, and I know that’s made me that much better since I’ve come back.”

After spending the first three years of his career with the Patriots, Hoyer returned to New England following the Jimmy Garoppolo trade in 2017. Reiss notes that the 33-year-old has been “very sharp” over the past few weeks, which could end up validating his spot on the roster.

Let’s check out some more notes out of New England…

  • Patriots wideout Julian Edelman has passed his physical and been removed from the non-football injury list, reports ESPN’s Field Yates (via Twitter). The veteran suffered a thumb injury in late-July that ultimately sidelined him for about three weeks. It’s been a busy few days for the Pats’ wide receiver corps. Embattled wideout Josh Gordon was reinstated from suspension on Friday, and he was subsequently placed on the team’s active/NFI list. To make room on the roster, the organization moved on from Dontrelle Inman.
  • The Patriots are set to release veteran punter Ryan Allen, but it sounds like they might not be ready to hand over the keys to rookie Jake Bailey. Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com tweets that the Patriots made a claim for punter Johnny Townsend, who was waived by the Raiders last week. The Giants ended up claiming the 2018 fifth-rounder.
  • While the Patriots tight end depth chart is still a question mark, Nick Underhill of The Athletic writes that the team’s offense is trending upwards. Last week, the team was running out the likes of Braxton Berrios and Gunner Olszewski with their first-team offense. Several days later, the team’s depth chart has been revamped. It goes beyond the return of Edelman and Gordon, as the team has potentially found some worthy targets in undrafted wideout Jakobi Meyers and third-round running back Damien Harris. Add that pair to Phillip Dorsett and first-rounder N’Keal Harry (as well as running backs James White, Sony Michel, and Rex Burkhead), and there’s plenty of reason for optimism in New England.

Patriots Notes: Thomas, Michel, Gronk, Wynn

Demaryius Thomas is not a lock to make the Patriots’ 53-man roster and may well begin the season on the reserve/PUP list. The Patriots started that process Sunday by placing the Pro Bowl wide receiver on their active/PUP list, which applies to players not healthy enough to begin participating in training camp. The Pats used the same designation for Sony Michel, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. Michel will certainly be part of the 2019 Patriots and is recovering from offseason knee surgery. Thomas tore an Achilles in December, joining longtime receiver teammate Emmanuel Sanders in that regard. The latter, however, is further along in his recovery, having not started Broncos camp on the PUP list.

Here is the latest out of New England:

  • Patriots third-round pick Yodny Cajuste underwent quadriceps surgery before the draft and landed on the defending Super Bowl champions’ reserve/NFI list, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com tweets. As is the case with the active/PUP list, players can come off this list at any point during camp. Cajuste figures to mix in as a swing option for the Patriots as a rookie.
  • If Rob Gronkowski does follow through on a comeback, might the Patriots be wise to assure him blocking responsibilities will be limited? While the future Hall of Famer was a plus blocker for his position, Jim McBride of the Boston Globe suggests the Pats use Gronk as a hybrid-type player that does not have the same kind of in-line role he previously held. The 30-year-old icon has slimmed down this offseason, one that has reportedly not featured much in the way of strength work.
  • Deatrich Wise and Nate Ebner will join Thomas and Michel on the Pats’ active/PUP list, Reiss tweets. A third-year defensive end, Wise has not missed a game in two seasons.
  • Isaiah Wynn, however, will not appear on the Pats’ active/PUP list, Reiss adds (via Twitter). The 2018 first-round pick missed all of his rookie season due to a torn Achilles’ tendon. Suffering the injury before last season began, Wynn is expected to suit up when the Patriots convene for their 2019 camp and line up as New England’s starting left tackle.
  • The Pats do not appear to have an open spot at quarterback, with Reiss noting Brian Hoyer will stick as Tom Brady‘s top backup and rookie Jarrett Stidham is likely assured of a roster spot as the team’s latest developmental QB project. This puts 2018 seventh-round pick Danny Etling on the verge of again falling short of a spot on the team’s active roster. But he may have an outside shot as a Taysom Hill-like role, per Reiss. While the Purdue and LSU alum never rushed for more than 200 yards in a season in college, Reiss points to his 86-yard touchdown run during 2018 preseason play as a sign this outside-the-box notion could work. The Patriots probably aren’t too eager to take Brady off the field, however.

AFC Rumors: Chiefs, Raiders, Steelers

De’Anthony Thomas was arrested on suspicion of marijuana possession and drug paraphernalia possession on Saturday, according to the Allen County (Kan.) Sheriff’s Office (via KMBC.com). The Chiefs wide receiver has since been released from Allen County Jail on bond. Thomas has played his entire NFL career with the Chiefs, signing a one-year deal to return to the team in 2018 after his rookie contract expired. The wideout’s latest Kansas City deal expired after this season. Thomas, 26, landed on IR in October.

As the Patriots venture to Atlanta for Super Bowl LIII, here is the latest from the AFC:

  • Needs exist at many spots on the Raiders‘ roster, but they are expected to conduct a defense-heavy draft, Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area notes. Oakland added several defenders in free agency last year, most of whom on one-year deals. The Silver and Black finished with an incredible 13 sacks — 17 fewer than the next-closest team (the Giants) this season and fewest in a season since the 2008 Chiefs, who also traded their best pass rusher that year (Jared Allen), recorded just 10 — and lack long-term answers at just about every position defensively. The Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper trades garnered the Raiders, whose own first-round pick became No. 4 overall, the Nos. 24 and 27 selections.
  • The Steelers exercised Bud Dupree‘s fifth-year option last May but have not decided on his long-term status with the team, per Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Dupree collected 5.5 sacks this season and has 20 in his career but has not lived up to his first-round billing. Dupree’s option price is $9.23MM. It would not be surprising if neither Dupree nor 2016 first-round pick Artie Burns inked second contracts with the Steelers, Fittipaldo writes. Burns’ fifth-year option decision is due in May. Considering Burns played just 308 snaps this season and will carry an option cost of close to $10MM, it would be incredibly surprising if Pittsburgh exercised it.
  • JuJu Smith-Schuster suffered an injury in Sunday’s Pro Bowl. While the Associated Press notes the injury that caused the Steelers wideout to leave the game was just a bruised knee, the second-year wideout was limping en route to the AFC team bus. Smith-Schuster may be on the verge of becoming Pittsburgh’s centerpiece receiver, should Antonio Brown be dealt. It doesn’t sound like he’ll be in danger of missing OTA time, however.
  • Included in Seth Wickersham’s must-read ESPN.com piece about the Jimmy Haslam-era Browns: a near-deal that would have added to the Browns and Texans‘ unique quarterback pipeline. After Cleveland chose Johnny Manziel in the 2014 first round, then-Browns GM Ray Farmer had to calm down a “furious” Brian Hoyer. The Texans soon called to offer their No. 33 overall pick for Cleveland’s then-starting quarterback, but Farmer declined the deal to get control of a draft that had gone haywire (with Mike Pettine leading the way for Justin Gilbert and Haslam behind the Manziel move). Hoyer played one more season with the Browns and in 2015 signed with the Texans, who used that No. 33 pick on offensive lineman Xavier Su’a-Filo.

Extra Points: Patriots, Maxwell, Peterson

Following months of speculation, the Patriots finally pulled the trigger on a Jimmy Garoppolo trade during last week’s deadline. Today, coach Bill Belichick provided some clarity on the transaction, noting that the team did not shop around the quarterback during this past offseason.

“There was no market to trade Jimmy in April, on our end,” Belichick said during an appearance on WEEI (via Doug Kyed of NESN.com). “I don’t really care what the offer was. I don’t even know what the offers were, or would have been. There was no interest on our end in making that deal. It didn’t really matter what the offer was, or would the offer would have been. I don’t really know what they were because we never entertained it.

“As I said, we had the best depth at that position probably of any team in the league, or at least we felt like we did. Maybe other teams felt different, I don’t know. We had great depth at that position. It was a tremendous situation to have two quarterbacks of the caliber we’ve had the past call it two and a half years from when Jimmy was ready. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t sustainable.”

There were whispers that the Browns had pursued Garoppolo during the offseason, but it sounds like the Patriots weren’t even willing to pick up the phone.

Let’s take a look at some other notes from around the NFL…

  • Brian Hoyer has a number of suitors after he was let go by the 49ers, but the quarterback told Ryan Hannable of WEEI.com that signing with the Patriots was a no-brainer. “I think for me, that was kind of the excitement of coming back home, and to be able to play behind Tom [Brady] and be in this organization,” Hoyer said. “And I was OK with. I think for me, having played a lot, you’re always ready to play, but it wasn’t going to work out for me to be a starter there in San Francisco the rest of this year, anyways, and probably not for next year. So I think for me, when I had an opportunity to come here and be the backup to Tom and in this organization, it was kind of a no-brainer.”
  • After working out with the Falcons, cornerback Byron Maxwell will not be signing a contract this evening, reports ESPN.com’s Vaughn McClure. Of course, the writer also notes that the defensive back hasn’t been ruled out, so a transaction could still be a possibility.
  • Even after he missed three field goal attempts on Sunday against Washington, the Seahawks say they will not move on from kicker Blair Walsh. “No, we will not,” coach Pete Carroll told reporters (via Brady Henderson of ESPN.com). “He’s 12-for-13 going into the game, guys. That was a hard day for whatever reason. We didn’t kick the ball off very well, either. It was just a hard day to kick the ball for us.” Walsh’s misses proved to be costly as Seattle lost by three points.
  • After a slow start to the season, Cardinals running back Adrian Peterson may actually reach some of his monetary incentives. As former agent Joel Corry notes on Twitter, the veteran’s contract calls for an extra $150K if he reaches 750 rushing yards. After compiling only 81 rushing yards in four games with the Saints, the veteran has collected 314 in three games with the Cardinals, meaning he only needs another 355 rushing yards in eight more games.
  • The number of agents certified by the NFL Players Association has risen 4%, from 795 to 830, Liz Mullen of SBJ writes. That figure includes 119 new agents who became certified this summer. Meanwhile, 84 agents either lost or dropped their certification. One can lose certification by not negotiating an NFL deal within a three-year period, missing the yearly union seminar, or not paying dues.

Zach Links contributed to this post.