Brian Hoyer is now off the board.
The former Houston Texans QB, who had an epic playoff meltdown and became expendable after the team signed free agent QB Brock Osweiler, has found a new NFL home. And despite rumors possibly linking Hoyer to the NY Jets or Denver — who currently have a vacancy at starting quarterback — it’s the Chicago Bears who’ve inked Hoyer, as reported by CBS Chicago via Twitter.
— Megan Mawicke (@MeganMawicke) April 30, 2016
“We’re fired up about that,” Bears general manager Ryan Pace said of signing Hoyer. “A lot of starting experience with him, familiarity with Dowell Loggains and (he’s been) when he played last year, so we’re excited to have an experienced quarterback in that role.”
The Bears season hinges on the success of starter Jay Cutler, who has a history of injuries dating back to a knee injury suffered during the playoffs a few years back. Hoyer provides the team the kind of insurance they never quite had before, with Jimmy Clausen and Josh McCown as their backups in previous years.
But what the Brian Hoyer signing does is actually more significant to the rest of the league rather than just in Chicago. It effectively removes a big puzzle piece off the board for the aforementioned NY Jets and Denver Broncos.
After meeting with Jets officials today, free-agent QB Brian Hoyer has decided to head to Denver to visit the Broncos, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 20, 2016
Brian’s first stop was a meeting with the Jets, who nearly signed Hoyer last year as a free agent, a reported by NFL Network. He left without a contract, and the thought was the Jets were simply using their meeting with him as a ploy to help facilitate a Ryan Fitzpatrick signing, who is currently on the sidelines awaiting a better contract offer than the reported $7–8 million the Jets are willing to spend.
With Hoyer now off the board, the Jets have redoubled their efforts to sign Fitzpatrick, as reported by ESPN. There were rumors at the NFL Draft that the Jets were looking to possibly acquire Nick Foles from the St. Louis Rams, but GM Mike Maccagnan quickly dispelled that notion.
“I would say simply, to dispel anything, we’re not at this point in time in any discussions with any team for any other quarterbacks,” general manager Mike Maccagnan said Saturday during the draft. “I can put that to bed at this point in time.”
Hoyer meanwhile, next visited with GM John Elway and the Broncos prior to the NFL Draft. And like the Jets, Elway described the meeting as “good” despite the fact that he left without a contract.
Elway: “We had a good visit” with Brian Hoyer. Hoyer has another trip lined up, Elway said. “He’s a possibility.”
— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) April 21, 2016
With Hoyer gone, the Broncos are left with recently acquired QB Mark Sanchez and recently drafted Paxton Lynch. With Lynch being a project at number 26, it’s unlikely he’ll be the starting quarterback under center at the beginning of the season. According to Oregon Live, the rumored deal to bring Colin Kaepernick to the team hasn’t moved the needle in recent weeks either.
“It’s dormant. He’s been working out (with the 49ers) from what I understand. So, that’s all I can really say on it.”
Trade talks between the 49ers and Broncos broke down prior to the NFL Draft. The point of discrepancy is the $4.9 million dollar pay cut the Broncos are asking him to take from his guaranteed $11.9 million base salary for the 2016 season. The 49ers have also reportedly refused to chip in any money to bridge the gap.
[Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images]