New England Patriots Re-Sign Veteran Former Starter


The New England Patriots will have a crowded quarterback room heading into training camp.

ESPN reports the Patriots have re-signed veteran backup and former starting quarterback Brian Hoyer to a one-year deal.

Hoyer rejoins a Pats quarterback depth chart that already includes Cam Newton -- a former NFL MVP who served as the team's starter for the majority of the 2020 NFL season, his first in New England -- 2021 first-round pick Mac Jones and third-year veteran Jarrett Stidham, who appeared in five games during the 2020 season.

Hoyer, who signed with the Patriots as an undrafted free agent in 2009, returned for his third stint with the franchise last offseason and entered the 2020 campaign as the team's No. 2 quarterback behind Newton and ahead of Stidham, before slipping to the No. 3 spot after Week 4.

Hoyer owns a 16-23 overall record as a starting quarterback for seven NFL teams, which includes making one start for the Patriots in 2020.

The 35-year-old provides more insurance at the position amid head coach Bill Belichick's reaffirmed stance that Newton would enter training camp as the team's starter and would remain so until Jones or Stidham were "ready to challenge and compete."

"Cam Newton's our quarterback," Belichick said during the Patriots draft press conference on Thursday night after selecting Jones at No. 15 overall via the Providence Journal. "Whatever time Jarrett or Mac are ready to challenge and compete, we'll see how that goes. But right now for Mac, he's just got a lot of learning in front of him. I know he's very anxious to get going and get started on it."

In March, the Patriots re-signed Newton despite a disappointing first season with the franchise. The former NFL MVP Newton threw for 2,657 yards, eight touchdowns and 10 interceptions, while going 7-8 as a starter in 15 games.

Newton and the Patriots agreed to a one-year contract "worth up to $13.6 million," sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Jones led Alabama to a College Football National Championship and was third in the Heisman voting behind teammate DeVonta Smith and Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence during his lone season as Alabama's full-time starting quarterback.

Jones threw for 4,500 yards, 41 touchdowns and four interceptions on 311 of 402 passing -- while also recording one rushing touchdown -- while leading the Crimson Tide to a 13-0 record in 2020.

Jones also made four starts in the absence of Tua Tagovailoa following a season-ending injury in 2019.

The Patriots finished the 2020 season with a 7-9 overall record, missing the playoffs for the first time since 2008.

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