Patriots Free Agency: Assessing Brian Hoyer’s Value

Brian Hoyer Patriots Trade

Will the Patriots part ways with Brian Hoyer this spring?

Ever since Matt Cassel and Mike Vrabel were shipped to Kansas City for a 2nd round pick, Patriots fans have been wondering what sort of trade compensation the next backup quarterback would bring.

With Brian Hoyer entering the 2012 NFL off-season as a restricted free-agent, we are about to find out.


NFL teams are given the opportunity to “tender” their restricted free agents at certain levels, effectively guaranteeing a certain base compensation if another team signs them to an offer sheet. Here are the tender levels for 2012:

$1.26 million – Right of first refusal, plus a pick from the round where the RFA was originally drafted.
$1.93 million – Right of first refusal, plus a second round pick.
$2.74 million – Right of first refusal, plus a first round selection.

The “first and a third” tender has been removed from the NFL collective bargaining agreement.

I’d expect the Patriots to tender Hoyer at least at the second round level. Since Brian Hoyer was an undrafted free-agent, the Patriots would not receive any compensation at the lowest tender.

New England could even use the first round tender on Hoyer if, as Greg Bedard stated, the Patriots really love Hoyer.


As we mentioned before, Brian Hoyer gets a lot of comparisons to Matt Cassel. The comparison is far from fair, however. Thanks to Bernard Pollard, Matt Cassel had the chance to lead the Patriots to an 11-5 season, throwing the ball over 500 times.

Hoyer has only thrown 43 passes in his entire career, throwing only one in 2011. It should be noted that Cassel had only thrown 39 passes before his breakout year in 2008.

Perhaps a better model for thinking about potential compensation is the curious tale of Charlie Whitehurst. As a Charger, Whitehurst had attempted a grand total of zero passes before he was traded to the Seahawks for a future third round pick and an exchange of second rounders (#60 to #40).

The Chargers netted 345 points per the Trade Value Chart, the equivalent of a late second round pick.

If Ryan Mallett has progressed at all, I think the Patriots would be happy getting that sort of value for Hoyer.


The Seahawks have already made this sort of deal before. Could they do it again? Rob Staton from the Seahawks Draft Blog hints their might be a possibility.

“The Seahawks will look at every opportunity to add competition at quarterback this off season. Expect Seattle to make a deal when the market re-opens. However, it’s unlikely they’ll be willing to spend either of their first two picks. Hoyer fundamentally fits what they’re looking for, but the price would have to be similar to what they paid San Diego for Charlie Whitehurst.”

If Seattle passes, two other teams with ties to Bill Belichick may step up to the plate.

The Cleveland Browns and New York Jets both have quarterbacks that have portions of their fan-bases that will defend them to the death. In reality though, neither Colt McCoy or Mark Sanchez have shown that they are even an above-average quarterback, let alone an elite one.

While trading Hoyer to the Browns would be much more tolerable to New England fans, Belichick has shown that he is willing to deal a talented quarterback within the division (Bledsoe to the Bills).

Miami, Kansas City and Dallas all have been mentioned as possibilities as well.

With all the speculation, would anyone be really surprised to see Hoyer back in the red, white and blue next year? I certainly would not be.

What would you trade Brian Hoyer for?

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16 Responses to “Patriots Free Agency: Assessing Brian Hoyer’s Value”

  1. ken says:

    What about one of their first round picks plus hoyer for a top 10 or 5 pick? Is there a player in this year’s draft you’d like to see them shoot for in such a manner?

    • Randy_92 says:

      I really like Hoyer but if they could move up and draft Justin Blackmon I think they’d have to try it.

  2. JI says:

    I think they’d trade him for a 3rd rounder. The Whitehurst deal was stupid, and don’t think that will be repeated. If Hoyer was 3″ taller and heavier, his value might be significantly higher. I see little chance he is on the Pats team after next season, so if they can get value, they’ll move him. I just think he will end up staying for one more year at 2nd round tender price.

  3. prioris says:

    Won’t get much for Hoyer. Maybe a case of beer.

    OAK could have used him this past year and could have gotten him for a second rounder easily but trading deadlines passed. They really got taken to the cleaners by CIN for Carson Palmer.

  4. Bill says:

    An undrafted Hoyer who has thrown a hanfdful of passes 2 years later is worth little, so I’d keep him if BB likes him. In a trade, if you got a 3rd or even a switch of 2nds into top few picks of the round, I’d go for it. His only claim to fame is being an understudy to a great player.

  5. jim r says:

    If you look at the QB’s in the Draft. He would be well worth a second round pick. Aside from Flynn in Green Bay what else is out there.

  6. TD says:

    The only problem with getting a lot of value for Hoyer is that lack of playing time. The only way I see a 2nd rounder coming back is via the Whitehurst shuffle of 2nd rounders.

  7. Andy F says:

    I would be very surprised if he was traded to the Jets. In Michael Holley’s book “War Room” they mention that the Patriots are known around the league for their willingness to trade draft picks, but that one of the very few teams who have never called Belichick on draft day are the Jets.

    • ctpatsfan77 says:

      Imagine how that call might go:

      “Hi, Bill, this is the New York Jets. . . .”

      *Convulsive laughter*


      • NEPD says:

        Remember, the Jets (or any team) wouldn’t have to trade. They could sign Hoyer to an offer sheet. If the Patriots don’t match it, they get Hoyer and give up the appropriate compensation.

  8. Jeff says:

    If Hoyer nets you jumping up from the 27th pick into the low teens, and you have a shot at Brockers or Dre Kirkpatrick, then I’d go for it. Unless those guys don’t grade out that much higher than Fletcher Cox or Janoris Jenkins who could be had at 27.

  9. Jeff says:

    If Kevin Kolb, who played in some NFL games but pretty much stunk in all of them, is worth a 2nd rounder AND a former 1st round probowl CB…then yeah…someone needs to cough up a 2nd rounder AT LEAST.

  10. Dan says:

    He’s worth a late 2nd or 3rd round pick at this time. We can compare him to Cassell all day, but he just hasn’t been tested. What’s in our favor is the fact that teams are simply desperate for QB’s and have to find them somewhere, somehow.
    I’d like to see them make the move…take the pick and use it to move up a bit to get a better 1st rounder, while keeping their other first round pick, AND using it.
    Move up to get a Barron (if he projects to recover fully), a DT, DE or whoever they feel can help this team as a game-changer.

  11. MJP says:

    Let’s say the Pats put the 2nd round Restriction on Hoyer but are willing to part with him for an early 3rd rounder, is there a mechanism for such a scenario to play out?

  12. brightonbob says:

    This is a great post. I think the combination of brady’s age, the need for help on defense, the fact they spent last years draft getting depth on offense at positions like qb, the success cassel had in 2010 and the change in focus of the league to a passing high scoring one means there should be great interest and need out there for hoyer and that the deal should get done. Hoyer is a gamble for a team, but so are all picks. If we can get a 2nd rounder for him and another pick I’d do it.

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