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?