Sep 22, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer (6) throws during the second quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
It wasn’t that long ago that Brian Hoyer was considered one of the top backup QBs on the market, but that was when he played for the New England Patriots.
The former Michigan State product played three seasons in New England behind Tom Brady, and then spent a year in Arizona where he played in just two games during the Cardinals’ QB carousel of 2012.
Replacing Brandon Weeden in Cleveland this season, Hoyer looked like he might have finally landed in a spot that could give him some short and long term success, which surprised most of us. In the three games he started (all after Trent Richardson was traded), the Browns went 3-0 and Hoyer had 615 yards passing with five touchdowns and three interceptions.
By no means was he perfect, but he certainly appeared to give the Browns their best chance to win, but now his future is clearly up in the air.
Armed with two first round picks, the Browns are in a position this offseason to find a new franchise quarterback. Had Hoyer been able to finish up the 2013 season, who knows? Maybe he would have proven to be “the guy” for this Cleveland organization, a franchise desperate for some shred of hope at the most important position in sports.
The bad news for Hoyer is, he is done for the season with a torn ACL suffered against the Buffalo Bills on Thursday night football. The good news for Hoyer is that he is still under contract in 2014.
Regardless of who the Browns bring in at quarterback this offseason (they’ve already won too many games to get Bridgewater, probably), Hoyer could very likely end up as the starting quarterback again in 2014 if he can prove that he’s healthy.
At this point in time, I can say with confidence that he is a better option than Brandon Weeden, who will probably be looking for work at season’s end unless he significantly picks up his game.
The question is, will Brian Hoyer end up being a building block for the Browns, or simply another mirage at the QB position?