The New England Patriots have announced a trip of cuts this afternoon and a few names stand out as being mild surprises. Center Dan Koppen has been giving his walking papers, but that should not shock anyone who has been following the team throughout training much. Much more surprising is the release of backup quarterback Brian Hoyer.
There was a perception among NFL media that Hoyer was well-regarded around the league and that the Patriots would likely be able to trade him for a handsome sum. Michael Lombardi of the NFL Network, in particularl, has spoken very highly of Hoyer and said that he would be a hot commodity on the trade market.
It turns out that the guys in the NFL who actually get to make these decisions instead of talking about them on television don’t like Hoyer as much as they are perceived to.
The Patriots won’t be trading Hoyer for a second-round pick, like the Philadelphia Eagles did with Kevin Kolb just over a year ago, nor will they be trading him for a seventh-round pick. They won’t even get a compensatory draft pick for Hoyer, as he would have had to remain on the team’s roster for this season and then leave in free agency for that to happen.
The move leaves second-year player Ryan Mallett as the only backup to starer Tom Brady in New England. Mallett certainly has the skills and potential to take over after Brady retires, but he is still viewed as an unpolished player.
Where does Hoyer go now? The best guess would be Arizona, where the Cardinals are severely lacking in talent at the quarterback position. They gave up a lot to get Kevin Kolb from the Eagles and it hasn’t worked out. They can now get Hoyer for free–if they want him, that is.