The New England Patriots have signed veteran quarterback Brian Hoyer and linebacker Brandon Copeland, according to Jim McBride of The Boston Globe:
BREAKING: The #Patriots have reached agreements with QB Brian Hoyer and former Jets LB Brandon Copeland today. This will be Hoyer’s third tour of duty with in New England.
— Jim McBride (@globejimmcbride) March 22, 2020
Hoyer’s deal is for one year, $1.05 million, per NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport and ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The Colts will also be paying Hoyer $2 million.
The #Patriots will bring QB Brian Hoyer back on a 1-year deal to join Jarrett Stidham and Cody Kessler… plus there is always the draft. Given where NE is cap-wise, this is probably it at the position.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 22, 2020
Now that Tom Brady is a Buccaneer, the Patriots are exploring any and all possibilities at the quarterback position. One of their safest options is to bring back Hoyer, who has five years of experience in the Patriots’ system. His most recent stint with them was 2017-2018. Last year, Hoyer signed a three-year, $12 million contract with the Colts, who jumped on his services once Andrew Luck abruptly retired last summer. Indianapolis cut Hoyer on Saturday now that they’ve signed Philip Rivers and still have Jacoby Brissett on the roster. Hoyer will be in direct competition with Jarrett Stidham for the Patriots’ starting QB job next season.
As for New England’s other signing: they are getting a run-defending linebacker in Copeland. The Patriots actually inquired about Copeland last offseason, but things fell through, per NESN. Now they get to sign him to a one-year, $1.05 million deal, per ESPN’s Mike Reiss. This past season Copeland had 27 tackles, five tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, and one forced fumble. He was a rotational player for New York, playing just 31% of the defensive snaps in 2019, per Pro Football Reference, and was in for a higher percentage of special teams plays (45%). He was ranked as PFF’s 50-best linebacker last season. Copeland was listed as one of our top 5 options at LB during free agency for the Patriots.