New England Patriots

Free agent QB Brian Hoyer agrees to three-year deal with Patriots

(Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Free-agent quarterback Brian Hoyer has signed a three-year contract with the New England Patriots, the team announced on Wednesday.

Hoyer returns to the franchise he started his NFL career with. He served as Tom Brady’s backup from 2009 to 2011 before spending one year with the Pittsburgh Steelers (2012) and Arizona Cardinals (2012). He’s also suited up for the Cleveland Browns (2013-14), Houston Texans (2015), Chicago Bears (2016) and San Francisco 49ers (2017).

Hoyer was released by the 49ers on Tuesday after they acquired quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo from the Patriots in exchange for a 2018 second-round draft choice.

According to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport, the Green Bay Packers were also interested in signing Hoyer. But now the 32-year-old Hoyer returns to New England where he and Brady are the only quarterbacks on the Patriots’ roster.

Hoyer has started 37 career games, which gives the Patriots an experienced option behind the 40-year-old future Hall of Famer. He has a career record of 16-21, completing 59.3 percent of his passes with 48 touchdowns and 30 interceptions.

His background in the Patriots’ system made him the obvious choice to fill the in-season void created by the Garoppolo trade, although New England wasn’t the only team that expressed interest in signing him.

Hoyer signed a two-year deal with the 49ers in free agency this year and entered the season as the clear-cut starter for the first time in his nine-year career. He started the first six games before he was benched in favor of rookie C.J. Beathard in the team’s loss to Washington on Oct. 16.

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