Longtime NFL Veteran Rejects Jets Backup QB Gig


Veteran NFL quarterback Brian Hoyer walking off the football field.

Longtime quarterback Brian Hoyer rejoined the New England Patriots earlier this week.

Although before he agreed to sign, Hoyer apparently told the New York Jets thanks, but no thanks.

According to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, Gang Green made multiple “attempts” to pair the former Patriots vet with rookie quarterback Zach Wilson.

Despite their offers of a contract and a clearer path to a roster spot, Hoyer opted for the familiar.

Familiar Territory

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This will be Hoyer’s third stint with New England, the same team he started his NFL career with back in 2009.

The veteran passer has spent parts of six separate seasons with the Patriots. In addition, Hoyer also contributed to seven other franchises.

Another reason why he passed up the Jets backup quarterback gig is due to Hoyer’s living situation. The 35-year old still lives in the New England area and the familiarity with the organization sealed the deal.

Passed up a Golden Opportunity

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Besides Wilson, the only other quarterbacks on the Jets roster are two unproven youngsters in James Morgan and Mike White. Hoyer would’ve clearly been Gang Green’s No. 2 passer heading into 2021.

Instead, he joins a crowded quarterback room in New England that features Cam Newton (former league MVP), Mac Jones (first-round pick in the 2021 NFL draft), and Jarrett Stidham (developing youngster).

Most NFL teams only hold two quarterbacks on their active roster, so Hoyer’s chances of making the final 53 for the Patriots are slim-and-none.

So What’s Left Out on the Open Market?

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With Hoyer now off the open market and Jeff Driskel recently joining the Houston Texans, pickings are pretty slim for the Jets.

Here are the best remaining options in free agency:

  • Robert Griffin III
  • Matt Barkley
  • Nick Mullens

Mullens makes the most sense among those who are left. He spent the last three seasons with the San Francisco 49ers.

The Jets’ new offensive coordinator, Mike LaFleur, is a disciple of the Kyle Shanahan coaching tree. The 26-year old would be a seamless scheme fit for what Gang Green is looking for.

One of the potential holdups for the Jets is Mullens is still rehabbing.

The former 49ers passer suffered a season-ending elbow injury vs the Dallas Cowboys on December 20. Mullens ended up having to undergo surgery to repair his UCL (ulnar collateral ligament).

Depending on the severity of the injury changes the potential rehab time. In some cases, the injury can heal in a matter of weeks. Although for athletes it can often take months to recover.

There’s also one other name that the Jets could be waiting for that has some ties to general manager Joe Douglas.

Veteran quarterback Nick Foles is currently a member of the Chicago Bears, but he’s involved in a crowded quarterback room himself. They already have veteran Andy Dalton and rookie Justin Fields on the roster.

It wouldn’t make sense to keep all three on the active roster heading into 2021. In other words, it seems inevitable that the Bears will move on at some point.

The Jets have two choices they can trade for Foles and go get their guy. Or they can wait until Chicago likely releases him.