Patriots Veteran QB Expected to Rejoin Team After Being Released

Getty Brian Hoyer

The New England Patriots released two veteran quarterbacks on Tuesday. One of them is likely coming back and the other isn’t.

Most notably, the team cut former No. 1 overall pick Cam Newton, but they also released Brian Hoyer. The latter is expected to be added back to the roster as soon as Wednesday when more shuffling takes place, per NESN’s Zack Cox:

As of now, the Patriots have just one active quarterback on their roster, and that is rookie Mac Jones, who beat Newton out for the starting job, leading to the release of the 2015 NFL MVP.

Jarrett Stidham was not released, but he is still on injured reserve while he recovers from back surgery. There is no known timetable on his return, but while the Patriots await his recovery, they will need another quarterback on the roster.

Hoyer’s Job Seems Safe Because of His Mentorship

One of the reasons Newton could not be a backup is his outward leadership. Newton has a presence that teammates respond to and many of them have spoken about his charisma.

Having that kind of player in a locker room would be tough for Jones to contend with as Newton’s personality and presence might tend to shrink the rookie as he’s trying to establish himself. Hoyer will not pose the same threat.

Hoyer signed with the Patriots largely with the understanding that he would be the third-stringer and a mentor to Jones. As it turns out, Jones is further along than the team hoped, but that still doesn’t completely diminish Hoyer’s value as a sounding board and secondary resource to the rookie.

Even beyond the connection as a mentor, it’s clear the Patriots still need Hoyer on the roster from a simple depth perspective. Don’t be surprised if the Patriots have some other plans for the position moving forward.

Stidham Could Be Elevated Upon His Return

For years, the Patriots went with 2 quarterbacks. One was Tom Brady and he had a few different backups during his legendary tenure in New England. It’s possible the Patriots are getting ready to go through another stretch like that with Jones and perhaps Hoyer as his backup. Although, to go so all-in with Jones doesn’t seem like the right way to go.

When Stidham returns, some believe he will slot in as the No. 2 quarterback on the roster ahead of Hoyer. At that point, there will be questions as to whether his services are still needed.

Boston Sports Journal’s Greg Bedard said:

I do know that Jarrett Stidham is more on Patriots’ radar now than he was a year ago, and that the team feels he just needed to get right physically. So plan could be Mac, Hoyer and Stidham, with Stidham No. 2 when he’s ready.

In any case, it appears Hoyer may have a bit more job security than Newton did–at least for now.

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