A 13-year veteran, Hoyer served as Tom Brady's backup from 2009-11. He returned to New England during the 2017 season and remained with the Patriots through the team's 2018 championship run. After one year in Indianapolis, Hoyer returned to the Patriots in 2020, where he made his first career start for New England.
Hoyer is joining a crowded quarterback room in New England that currently includes rookie Mac Jones, veteran Cam Newton and Jarrett Stidham. Newton, the team's starter last season, had more touchdown runs (11) than touchdown passes (eight) during the 2020 campaign. The only other quarterback to start for the Patriots last season was Hoyer, who went 15 of 24 for 130 yards with an interception in New England's Week 4 loss to the Chiefs.
The former Michigan State Spartan has additionally spent time in Arizona (2012), Cleveland (2012-14), Houston (2015), Chicago (2016) and San Francisco (2017). His most successful stint as a starter took place in his hometown of Cleveland, where he posted a 10-6 record. Hoyer went 7-6 as the Browns' starter in 2014 while throwing for a career-high 3,326 yards. The following season (his only season with the Texans), Hoyer went 5-4 as a starter while throwing a career-high 19 touchdowns. Hoyer's success in Cleveland and Houston did not transfer to Chicago, however, where he went 1-4 as the Bears' starter in 2016. He was released the following season after losing each of his six starts with the 49ers.
Hoyer was a valuable teammate for Brady, whom he backed up during Brady's sixth and final Super Bowl run with the Patriots. Brady expressed his affection for Hoyer after the Patriots released him just before the start of the 2019 season.
"He has been a great friend ever since he came to our team in 2009," Brady told WEEI, via Bleacher Report's Kyle Newport. "I always kept in touch with him. When he came back two seasons ago we picked up right where he left off. He added so much to our meeting room. I had so much trust and confidence in the things that he saw. He also had been exposed to a lot of different offensive systems so he brought some different knowledge — how people ran different offenses and so forth. He always provided great insight and great leadership.
"It's very difficult to see your friends get released and that was really no different. It's part of what happens in the NFL. I will never get used to it. I know that any team that Brian is on is a better team for having him."