Brian Hoyer

Raiders Fallout: Davis, Garoppolo, Brady

The Raiders made headlines early this morning when they fired head coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler. While the midseason shakeup may have come as a surprise to some, it probably didn’t shock many of the team’s veterans.

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, owner Mark Davis had meetings with veteran players over the past week to better understand the team’s culture (or lack thereof). Albert Breer of SI.com echoes that report, noting that Davis was well aware of the players’ grievances. Even before the recent meetings, the firing started to feel “inevitable” within the organization, according to Breer. Davis was becoming increasingly “volatile and angry” with the team’s inconsistencies, and that ultimately led to his decision.

McDaniels was also aware of the problems in his locker room. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reports that the coach allowed players to raise their issues during a team meeting last week. Josh Jacobs, Maxx Crosby, and Davante Adams were among the veteran players who spoke up, with the latter also expressing his discontent following Monday’s loss to the Lions.

Breer has more details on what led to the eventual firings. There was a “particularly aggressive” postgame meeting between Davis and his staff after the Raiders beat the Packers in Week 5. Despite the win, the owner caught the attention of many because he was “so angry,” and his “reaction created an uneasy feeling” with coaches and scouts.

More notes out of Las Vegas…

  • The “disconnect” between Davis and McDaniels/Ziegler surrounding the Raiders quarterback situation played a major role in the dismissals, according to Dianna Russini, Vic Tafur, Tashan Reed, and Larry Holder of The Athletic. The decision that played the most significant role in the firings was when veteran Brian Hoyer started over rookie Aidan O’Connell in Week 7. Breer provided more context on that decision, noting that the Raiders believed Hoyer’s veteran game management would be advantageous against the Bears, who were rolling with a rookie of their own. Some coaches believed that O’Connell should get the call, and Hoyer proceeded to throw a pair of interceptions in an eventual loss.
  • According to Tafur, Davis had issues with Ziegler’s handling of the position before this season. The owner wasn’t a proponent of the extension that the GM gave to Derek Carr, and the accompanying no-trade clause meant the organization ultimately let the franchise quarterback walk without receiving any compensation. Ziegler didn’t do himself any favors by handing Jimmy Garoppolo $33MM in guaranteed money. The oft-injured QB later failed his physical and ultimately required surgery, and he’s proceeded to toss nine interceptions in his six games. The GM also might regret his decision to not target a rookie and spend the money elsewhere; per Tafur, the Raiders only liked Bryce Young heading into the draft.
  • Davis will now have a difficult choice to make on Garoppolo, and it goes beyond the decision to start O’Connell in Week 9. As Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com writes, it makes most sense for the organization to cut the veteran QB as soon as possible. Garoppolo has $11.25MM in injury guarantees that are due in March of 2024. The team could cut him after the Super Bowl and before the guarantee vests, but they’d be risking the QB suffering an injury during an upcoming game or practice.
  • Tom Brady isn’t yet an official part-owner of the Raiders, but the future Hall of Famer will be involved in the HC and GM hiring process, according to Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports. Of course, Brady has a relationship with both McDaniels and Ziegler, with the trio having won many Super Bowls together during their time in New England.

Raiders To Start Brian Hoyer In Week 7

With Jimmy Garoppolo set to miss another contest on Sunday, the Raiders have a decision to make regarding who they start under center in Week 7. Rookie Aidan O’Connell and veteran Brian Hoyer represent the team’s options, and a commitment appears to have been made.

Las Vegas will start Hoyer against the Bears, Dianna Russini of The Athletic reports. That means Week 7 will mark his first start since last season in his second stint in New England. Hoyer signed a two-year deal in free agency this offseason despite giving serious consideration to retirement, a move which reunited him with Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels.

The latter tapped O’Connell in Week 4 to make his NFL debut, a sign of confidence in the fourth-rounder. He went 24-for-39 for 238 scoreless yards and one interception in a loss to the Chargers. O’Connell added one rushing touchdown, but his three fumbles no doubt gave McDaniels and the coaching staff pause about when to give him another opportunity in regular season action.

Garoppolo is dealing with a back injury which caused him to be transported to hospital midway through the Raiders’ Week 6 win over the Patriots. It came out yesterday that he will miss Sunday’s game, opening the door to Hoyer seeing an extended look. It was the 38-year-old who came in as relief after Garoppolo’s exist last week, delivering a 94.6 passer rating in limited action while helping guide the team to a victory.

Now sitting at 3-3, the Raiders will turn to Hoyer against a Bears team which will also be without its starter on Sunday. Justin Fields‘ thumb injury will sideline him for at least one full contest, clearing the way for undrafted rookie Tyson Bagent to get his first NFL start. The last time Hoyer won a game he started, meanwhile, came back in 2016 when he played for the Bears. His next opportunity to end that drought will come in Chicago on Sunday in a battle of the backups.

Raiders’ Jimmy Garoppolo To Miss Week 7

For the second time this season, the Raiders will be without their starting quarterback. The back injury Jimmy Garoppolo sustained Sunday will sideline him for Week 7, with the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Vincent Bonsignore confirming the 10th-year passer will miss the Bears matchup.

Considering Garoppolo needed to be hospitalized after the injury, it certainly is not surprising to see the Raiders exercise caution with one of the NFL’s most injury-prone players. Garoppolo also missed Week 4 with a concussion.

Although the Raiders received better-than-expected news on their recent free agency pickup, Garoppolo being down opens the door to a steep drop-off at quarterback for the 3-3 team. The Raiders used fourth-round rookie Aidan O’Connell in Garoppolo’s last full-game absence, which featured a Khalil Mack six-sack barrage against his former team, but veteran Brian Hoyer replaced Garoppolo against the Patriots. The Raiders have not determined which backup will start against the Bears, Bonsignore adds.

This will likely become a matchup of backups. The Bears are not expected to have Justin Fields, who suffered a dislocated thumb last week. Tyson Bagent, whom the Elias Sports Bureau notes would only be the fourth Division II quarterback to start in the past 20 years, is expected to receive the call against Las Vegas. Ex-Raider Nathan Peterman is in place as the rookie UDFA’s backup.

Commanding a decent market this offseason, Garoppolo signed a three-year, $72.75MM deal. The former New England and San Francisco passer missing starts always seemed likely, given his history. Week 7 will mark the former Super Bowl starter’s 32nd missed regular-season start due to injury since he suffered an ACL tear in September 2018.

The 31-year-old QB has generally been effective when available, but his lack of durability made the Raiders’ backup plan somewhat curious this offseason. Hoyer, who turned 38 last week, is the oldest healthy QB in the league (the NFL’s oldest active passer, Aaron Rodgers, went down four plays into the season). The former Josh McDaniels Patriots pupil also considered retirement this offseason; he signed a two-year, $4.5MM deal that includes $4.2MM guaranteed. O’Connell shined during the preseason, but he came to Vegas as the No. 135 overall pick. The Raiders met with each of this draft’s top five QB prospects but went in another direction during the selection weekend.

O’Connell took seven sacks and fumbled three times against the Chargers, though he did complete 61.5% of his throws during a 238-yard performance. Hoyer has made 40 career starts. After a productive mid-2010s stretch in Cleveland and Houston, Hoyer came into this season having lost his most recent 11 starts. The 15th-year veteran did help the Raiders past the Patriots during a 10-pass relief outing.

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.

[RELATED: Tom Brady Insists He Will Stay Retired]

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.

Raiders Reworked Jimmy Garoppolo’s Deal; Tom Brady Not Realistic Emergency Option?

While Derek Carr did not exactly bring a high ceiling at quarterback for the Raiders, the nine-year starter is one of the NFL’s most durable quarterbacks. Carr missed two regular-season games (and one playoff contest) due to injury with the Raiders. Las Vegas’ plan to replace Carr is not off to a great start.

Shortly after Jimmy Garoppolo signed a three-year, $72.75MM deal, he underwent surgery to repair the fractured foot he sustained in early December. Faint hopes had kept the door narrowly ajar for a Garoppolo return for Super Bowl LVII, which would have been as a backup given Brock Purdy‘s stunning production, so the new Raiders QB being sidelined likely until training camp raised a red flag. The Raiders ended up making a change to protect themselves.

A delay between Garoppolo’s free agency agreement and the signing of the contract commenced in March. In that time, the Raiders inserted a clause that will offer them protection in the event Garoppolo cannot pass a physical, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports. This addendum gives the Raiders an out in the event the left foot injury keeps Garoppolo off the field, and it converted $11.25MM from roster bonus to base salary.

Garoppolo’s reported agreement featured $33.75MM guaranteed at signing. The $11.25MM bonus — due on Day 3 of the 2024 league year — comprised part of that total. Garoppolo’s other guaranteed cash comes from a $22.5MM 2023 base salary, which the Raiders will only be on the hook for if Garoppolo passes a physical. To some degree, their situation resembles a fifth-year option setup during the period in which the options were guaranteed for injury only. But teams could only cut those former first-rounders free of charge if said player passed a physical a year later; Garoppolo failing his opens the door to a free-of-charge Raiders release.

This reality would introduce significant concerns for Las Vegas, which dumped Carr for one of the NFL’s most injury-prone players. Garoppolo has missed 33 games due to injury since suffering an ACL tear in September 2018 and has only finished two of his past five seasons. In the two Garoppolo did complete, he started Super Bowl LIV and piloted the 49ers to the 2021 NFC championship game. But calf, thumb and shoulder injuries — the latter two requiring surgeries — affected him during the latter season. At 31 and coming off three straight injury-plagued years, Garoppolo is certainly a poor bet to make it through this season unscathed.

On the other side of this, Garoppolo passing a physical removes the clause from the equation, The Athletic’s Tashan Reed and Vic Tafur report (subscription required). Josh McDaniels, who coached Garoppolo in New England from 2014-17, said everything is on schedule for the 10th-year veteran, with the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Vincent Bonsignore indicating the team believes the clause will be moot (Twitter link).

A window exists for the Raiders to release Garoppolo before he passes his physical. Of course, they would be doing so with limited options at the position. The team has used offseason addition Brian Hoyer as its first-stringer during OTAs thus far, per The Athletic, though the 37-year-old passer is far past his prime and would invite obvious questions about the Raiders’ competitive viability this season. The Raiders attempted to keep Jarrett Stidham, but he signed with the Broncos to be Russell Wilson‘s backup. The team hosted the draft’s top five QB prospects and discussed a trade for the No. 1 pick with the Bears. But the Raiders did not make their QB move until the fourth round (Aidan O’Connell). The ex-Purdue arm is viewed as a developmental player.

Carson Wentz stands as the top passer available, and new Raiders pass-game coordinator Scott Turner did coach Wentz as Commanders OC last season. Teddy Bridgewater resides as the other starter-caliber QB left in free agency. Ryan Tannehill could become an option, though the Titans making that move — one rumored earlier this year — could remove them from contention consideration this season.

Moving into elephant-in-the-room status by virtue of his agreement with Mark Davis to buy a piece of the Raiders, Tom Brady looms as well. But owners will need to approve the recently retired quarterback’s purchase. As was the case with the Brady-Dolphins rumors during his first retirement, they would be unlikely to do so if he returned to play. In fact, a league source informed Bonsignore that Brady’s Raiders stake could come with a provision he will only serve as an owner — and not a player — for the franchise.

The Raiders looked into Brady as a free agent — before retirement No. 2 — this offseason. Brady’s past with McDaniels would make him the top emergency solution for the Raiders, even ahead of an age-46 season. But owners were unlikely to approve Miami’s long-rumored Brady plan in which he would have served as a player and owner. Twenty-four “yes” votes will be required for Brady to buy a piece of the Raiders. That could be contingent on the 23-year veteran staying retired. Were Brady dead-set on making a second comeback, he could simply back out of his ownership agreement.

Absent that long-shot solution, the Raiders will need to hope Garoppolo can finish his latest rehab effort. But the team’s quarterback stability has taken a substantial hit this offseason.

Raiders To Sign QB Brian Hoyer

APRIL 5: Hoyer’s two-year deal will check in at $4.5MM, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. This agreement places the former UDFA in position to surpass $35MM in career earnings. The Raiders will be Hoyer’s eighth NFL team. Hoyer’s deal is nearly fully guaranteed, Ben Volin of the Boston Globe adds (via Twitter). The 15th-year veteran is locked into $4.2MM at signing.

APRIL 4: Weeks after Josh McDaniels secured a Jimmy Garoppolo reunion, the second-year Raiders HC is bringing in another familiar face. The Raiders are signing Brian Hoyer, according to his agency (on Twitter).

Hoyer agreed to a two-year deal with Las Vegas on Tuesday. The Raiders attempted to keep Jarrett Stidham, but the ex-Patriots draftee preferred the opportunity the Broncos will provide. Now, another ex-McDaniels Pats pupil will head west.

Hoyer and Garoppolo did not cross paths in New England; the latter’s trade to the 49ers in 2017 led Hoyer out of San Francisco and back to Foxborough. Hoyer finished out his first Patriots tenure with McDaniels, who rejoined the Pats in the 2011 playoffs after the Rams did not bring him back following a rough season as St. Louis’ OC. Hoyer caught up with McDaniels again in 2017 and played four seasons under the longtime Pats OC. The two will work together again soon.

The Patriots dropped Hoyer earlier this offseason, taking on nearly $2MM in dead money to do so. New England has second-year QB Bailey Zappe in place behind Mac Jones. This will lead to yet another opportunity for the veteran backup. Hoyer, 37, has been in the NFL since joining the Patriots as a 2009 UDFA.

Enjoying two stints as Tom Brady‘s backup and having been a starter for a few teams in between, Hoyer backed up Cam Newton in 2020 and Jones for the past two seasons. Given Garoppolo’s injury history, Hoyer could become a key figure for the Raiders. Hoyer seeing starts would be interesting at this stage of his career; the 15th-year veteran has started three games over the past five seasons and only finished one of those. Hoyer also suffered a concussion early last season, having replaced Jones after the starter’s high ankle sprain, and did not return from New England’s IR. The October concussion was not expected to end Hoyer’s season, and NBC Sports’ Tom Curran said during a recent WEEI appearance the backup believed he was ready to return (video link). He remained on IR, however.

For his career, Hoyer has made 40 starts. He played a relevant role in the mid-2010s, guiding his hometown Browns into rare playoff contention and then leading the Texans to the AFC South title a year later. Cleveland was 7-6 in Hoyer’s starts in 2014, despite Josh Gordon missing most of that stretch due to a suspension, but the Browns sat the veteran for then-rookie Johnny Manziel. Hoyer finished 2015 with a 19-7 TD-INT ratio in Houston, but after a playoff loss to the Chiefs, the Texans replaced him with Brock Osweiler.

Holding the No. 7 overall pick, the Raiders are also doing extensive work on this year’s rookie class. It certainly will be possible Las Vegas will finish this offseason with Garoppolo, Hoyer and a rookie signal-caller — perhaps a first-round pick on a developmental track — on the depth chart. As of now, though, the team’s post-Derek Carr QB room is full-on Patriots West.

Tension Remains Between Bill Belichick, Mac Jones; Patriots Shopped QB?

The Patriots placed Mac Jones at the center of a historically unusual experiment last season, giving career defensive coach Matt Patricia the keys to the offense. It backfired, and Jones expressed steady frustration with the plan.

Jones’ irritation spilled outside the building, with NBC Sports Boston’s Tom Curran noting the former first-round pick was asking for assistance from coaches not on New England’s staff. Those efforts getting back to Bill Belichick has affected the sides’ relationship, Curran said during a WEEI interview (video link).

Alabama staffers received calls from Jones regarding the Patriots’ plan on offense, NBC Sports’ Chris Simms reports. This comes after a report that indicated Jones had said during the 2022 offseason he would be teaching the Pats’ offense to Joe Judge, who was moved into position as the team’s de facto quarterbacks coach following his Giants ouster. Judge remains on New England’s staff; Patricia is not currently with the team but has a potential path to stay.

This looks to be a storyline to monitor. Belichick has since shopped Jones this offseason, per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, who notes the 24th-year head coach has discussed his starting QB in trades with multiple teams. It is not known who Belichick discussed Jones’ potential availability with, but the Raiders were mentioned as a potential suitor before free agency. Las Vegas has since signed former Josh McDaniels pupil Jimmy Garoppolo. McDaniels worked with Jones in 2021.

The Texans also came up, per Florio. Houston GM Nick Caserio was not with the Patriots when they drafted Jones, but he obviously has deep New England ties due to his run as Belichick’s right-hand personnel man. Were the Patriots to attempt to trade Jones outside the AFC, teams like the Buccaneers and Commanders emerged as potential suitors. Those teams have since added Baker Mayfield and Jacoby Brissett, respectively. These veterans would not seemingly be an impediment to a Jones pursuit, so how each organization proceeds in the draft could be relevant to the Patriots.

Jones talks may well have reached the offer stage, with AtoZsports.com’s Doug Kyed adding no offer was good enough to prompt the Patriots to act here. Tension remains between Belichick and Jones, per Kyed, who adds both Robert and Pats president Jonathan Kraft are fond of of the third-year quarterback. This makes it worth wondering if Belichick would have the green light to move on from the former No. 15 overall pick. Jones’ rookie contract can run through 2025, via the fifth-year option. After 2022, it cannot be assumed the Pats will pick up that option. The former national championship-winning QB’s deal has been mentioned as a barrier in the way of a Lamar Jackson pursuit; the Pats are one of the many teams planning to steer clear of the Ravens superstar.

I’m a big fan of Mac,” Kraft said at the league meetings. “He came to us as a rookie. He quarterbacked in his rookie season and did a very fine job I thought. We made the playoffs. I think we experimented with some things last year that frankly didn’t work when it came to him, in my opinion.

Belichick’s unusual Patricia-based plan also may have bothered Brian Hoyer. The off-and-on New England backup was not on board with installing a former defensive coordinator as the play-caller, Curran adds. He was not the only one, with veteran NFL reporter Mike Giardi noting (via Twitter) every position group observed the dysfunction on offense last season.

The Patriots released Hoyer this offseason, eating $1.6MM in dead money to do so, and the 15th-year veteran agreed to terms with the Raiders on Tuesday. Following Hoyer’s 2022 concussion, the Pats used third-stringer Bailey Zappe in place of Jones. A mini-QB controversy developed after the Western Kentucky one-and-done won both his starts. Jones regained his job after recovering from the high ankle sprain he sustained, but Zappe is now believed to have a chance at pushing Jones this offseason.

A fourth-round pick who played one season of Division I football — albeit a record-setting showing in a pass-crazed offense — Zappe would be an underdog against Jones, who now has Bill O’Brien in place as OC. On his way out of Tuscaloosa in 2021, Jones helped teach Nick Saban’s then-new OC the Crimson Tide’s offense. After Kraft called Belichick’s decision to install Patricia as the Pats’ primary play-caller a mistake, O’Brien — in his second tour of duty as New England’s OC — is now in place to help clean up the mess.

After elevating the Patriots’ passing attack — at least, compared to their Cam Newton season — and helping the 2021 team to the playoffs, Jones has seen his New England tenure veer off course. It will be interesting to see how he, Belichick, Judge and O’Brien coexist moving forward.

Raiders QB Notes: Lamar, Garoppolo, Rodgers, Mac, Hoyer

After an unusual number of teams have been mentioned as not being interested in Lamar Jackson, the Raiders can be included as a potential suitor. The Silver and Black have not eliminated Jackson or any of the big-name QBs still available, Dianna Russini of ESPN.com tweets.

Jackson would represent the biggest fish left, and the list of teams listed as early stay-aways dwarfs those being connected to the Ravens’ franchise player. The Commanders, Dolphins, Falcons and Panthers have been connected to steering clear of Jackson — at least on the fully guaranteed contract he seeks. The Raiders moved on from Derek Carr and created some cap space as a result, though they still have three skill-position players — Davante Adams, Darren Waller, Hunter Renfrow — tied to extensions.

It would cost the Raiders at least two first-round picks to obtain Jackson from the Ravens, who would have the option to match an offer sheet. The teams could also work out a trade involving another compensation package.

The Raiders’ most logical connection remains Jimmy Garoppolo, who has ties to Josh McDaniels and Dave Ziegler. The Raiders were mentioned as a potential Garoppolo suitor in January, and many at the Combine voiced an expectation the team will pursue the former Patriots and 49ers passer, Dan Graziano of ESPN.com notes.

Garoppolo still might be a backup plan, with Aaron Rodgers rumblings surfacing again. The Jets are currently meeting with the future Hall of Famer, but Graziano adds McDaniels has long respected him. Pushback regarding the Raiders’ Rodgers interest has also emerged, and McDaniels indicated an aim to develop a young passer. Rodgers would not qualify as a bridge option like Garoppolo, as a trade for the Packers great would be for a Super Bowl run. Garoppolo, conversely, could be used as a high-end placeholder.

The Jets have made their interest in Rodgers crystal clear, and the Packers greenlit an all-hands-on-deck Jets recruiting effort Tuesday in California. The Raiders have kept their cards closer to the vest. Way back when Rodgers dropped his initial trade-request bombshell on the league — in April 2021 — the Raiders joined the Broncos as being an acceptable destination. Much has changed in Las Vegas since. Jon Gruden making a controversial exit that ultimately led to McDaniels and Ziegler taking over, but that duo signed off on a blockbuster trade for Adams. Rodgers attempted to convince Adams to stay in Green Bay last year, but the longtime Carr ally had made up his mind.

In the event Rodgers removes himself from the Jets’ equation, Garoppolo would have an apparent path to New York. But he spent the first three-plus seasons of his career in McDaniels’ offense. After the new Raiders power duo deemed Carr an iffy fit for McDaniels’ attack, a familiar face running the show would be a logical move for the team.

On the familiarity front, Graziano also mentions chatter about the Raiders having interest in acquiring Mac Jones while adding the Patriots are unlikely to move him. Jones regressed last season and fared better under McDaniels compared to Matt Patricia, but the Pats appear prepared to see how their 2021 first-rounder looks in Bill O’Brien‘s offense. The Raiders have eyes on another ex-Patriot, however, with the Boston Globe’s Ben Volin adding Brian Hoyer would be on McDaniels’ radar as a mentor-type presence. But Hoyer is leaning toward retiring, per Volin. McDaniels worked with Hoyer, 37, from 2017-18 and again from 2020-21. The former Patriots UDFA has been in the NFL since 2008.

The Raiders have begun talks to bring back Jarrett Stidham, who has been a McDaniels pupil at every step of his NFL career. With only ex-UDFA Chase Garbers under contract with the Silver and Black, the team will continue to be connected to big names and/or a first-round investment at the game’s premier position.

Patriots To Release QB Brian Hoyer

Longtime backup quarterback Brian Hoyer appears to be on his way out of New England, according to Sirius XM Radio’s Adam Caplan. The Patriots brought Hoyer back for the third time in 2020 but have plans to move on from him this offseason.

Hoyer originally signed with the Patriots as an undrafted free agent out of Michigan State in 2009. The previous season had seen star passer Tom Brady lost for the year to a torn ACL and MCL and required backup quarterback Matt Cassel to lead the Patriots. Cassel’s performance in Brady’s stead would earn him a new contract as the Chief’s starter in 2009. With Cassel gone, Hoyer took over the main role as Brady’s backup.

Just prior to the 2012 season, the Patriots released Hoyer as they decided to move forward with Ryan Mallett as their primary backup passer. Hoyer signed with the Steelers following injuries to Ben Roethlisberger and Byron Leftwich but never saw the field while backing up Charlie Batch. Two days after being released by Pittsburgh, Hoyer signed with the Cardinals, with whom he earned the first start of his career in the season finale after an injury to Ryan Lindley.

The following season saw Hoyer sign with his hometown team, the Browns. In Cleveland, Hoyer would see the most success in his career. Following an injury to Brandon Weeden, the Browns passed over backup Jason Campbell and started Hoyer. After earning his first-career win, Hoyer started the next two games (both wins), before suffering an ACL tear in that third start of the year. After recovering, Hoyer was tabbed as the starter for 2014 as Weeden and Campbell departed in free agency. He competed for the job with rookie first-round pick Johnny Manziel. Hoyer had an impressive 6-3 start to the season, dropping two games in heartbreaking fashion, before losing three of the next four, prompting a move to start Manziel. Hoyer went 7-6 as a starter that year.

Following the expiration of his contract in Cleveland, Hoyer signed with the Texans, where he competed with former teammate, Mallett, for the starting job. Houston went back and forth between the two for the year as Hoyer went 5-4 as a starter and threw an impressive 19 touchdowns to seven interceptions. The Texans would release Hoyer one year into a two-year deal, and he would sign with the Bears the following year. Backing up Jay Cutler, Hoyer got five starts in Chicago, throwing for a career-high 240.8 yards per game and six touchdowns with no interceptions.

In 2017, Hoyer had his last true starting gig in San Francisco, losing six straight starts before being benched for then-rookie C.J. Beathard. He was essentially traded to the Patriots in exchange for Jimmy Garoppolo, but since the Patriots didn’t want him included in the trade for compensatory draft pick reasons, he was simply released by the 49ers and re-signed by New England.

Since then, Hoyer has served solely as a backup quarterback for the Patriots, Colts, and then back to the Patriots for a third stint. He started a game in relief of each Jacoby Brissett in Indianapolis and Cam Newton and Mac Jones in New England, but as he’s progressed into his late 30’s, Hoyer has been relegated to only backup duty.

Hoyer’s latest release comes one year into another two-year contract and is likely due to the acquisition of Bailey Zappe last offseason. Hoyer had won the primary backup position over Zappe last season, earning a start in place of Jones in a Week 4 matchup against the Packers, but was replaced by Zappe after a concussion in the first quarter. New England now likely feels comfortable moving forward with Zappe as Jones’s backup quarterback. The Patriots only save around $300,000 in cap space as Hoyer still hits them for $1.64MM in dead cap money.

Turning 38 this upcoming season, it will be interesting to see what Hoyer decides to do. He has always shown the ability to perform off the bench over the years but has also been sidelined with injuries time and time again. Will Hoyer make yet another attempt to provide a franchise with a capable backup quarterback? Or will he avoid any further harm to his body by hanging up his cleats after a fourteen-year career in the NFL?

Mac Jones Unlikely To Return In Week 5

OCTOBER 9: As expected, Zappe will get his first career start on Sunday, as Jeff Howe of The Athletic tweets. Jones is still targeting a Week 6 return.

OCTOBER 6: The Patriots should not be expected to have their starting quarterback in uniform this week. Although Mac Jones managed a limited practice Wednesday, the second-year passer returning in Week 6 also appears far from a lock.

Jones’ injured ankle remains unstable, with NFL.com’s Mike Giardi noting the New England starter is still limping. While Giardi adds Jones is moving around better than he did to end the Pats’ practice sessions last week, ProFootballNetwork.com’s Aaron Wilson notes Jones is not believed to be particularly close to returning.

This is not exactly surprising news; Jones is believed to have sustained a “pretty severe” high ankle sprain. Nevertheless, the former first-round pick is making his case to the Pats’ staff to return in Week 5 against the Lions, Wilson adds, but Week 6 — against the Browns — is viewed as the likelier return window.

As for Sunday, the Pats are likely to go with Bailey Zappe. Brian Hoyer is not expected to be cleared from concussion protocol in time for New England’s Week 5 contest, Wilson adds, clearing the way for the team’s third-stringer to make his first start. Zappe, whom the Pats chose 137th overall, completed 10 of 15 passes for 99 yards and a touchdown in the Pats’ overtime loss to the Packers. Zappe transformed his stock last year by breaking Joe Burrow‘s Division I-FBS record with a 62-touchdown pass season in his lone Western Kentucky campaign. Playing in a pass-crazed system, Zappe’s 5,967 passing yards topped the FBS field by over 1,000.

The Patriots signed Garrett Gilbert to their practice squad this week. Signs now point to the Pats sporting a Zappe-Gilbert depth chart against the Lions. Gilbert is the only quarterback on New England’s P-squad.