One of the big NFL rumors involving the New England Patriots is the movement of one of their two backup quarterbacks, Brian Hoyer or Ryan Mallett. The two are scheduled to backup starting quarterback Tom Brady in 2012 but barring a serious injury to the perennial pro bowler, neither are expected to see any significant playing time this season.
Brian Hoyer went undrafted in 2009 out of Michigan State and was signed by the Patriots replacing Matt Cassel who had become the starting quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs. After beating out three other quarterbacks in 2009 to become Brady’s primary backup, Hoyer has played sparingly during the regular season over the next three seasons.
Ryan Mallett was selected by the Patriots in the 2011 NFL draft out of Arkansas. Like Hoyer, Mallett played very little for the Patriots only being active for one of the team’s 16 regular season games. Though Hoyer has more experience in the NFL, many feel that Mallett is the right backup for Brady due to his youth and potential.
The idea of trading one of these two backups is something that has been discussed in the media over the past few months. Recently there’s been talk that the Patriots may use their second preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles to showcase the two quarterbacks for other teams hoping to find a potential trading partner.
It was likely that both quarterbacks would get significant playing time in the second preseason game regardless because it’s one of the few times they would see game action. But that game has been selected as a primetime game on ESPN which makes it ideal to show off these two players to the other teams in the league.
It remains to be seen if the Patriots do use that game for that specific purpose but it is very likely that either Hoyer or Mallett may not be on the Patriots come September. When Brady got hurt in 2008, Cassel led the team to an 11-5 record and almost a division title. Some of the quarterback injuries last year proved how important a backup quarterback can be so the decision which one to go with could be important for the Patriots moving forward.