When former New England Patriots quarterback Brian Hoyer cleared waivers on Saturday, he became a free agent. Now on the open market, the Minnesota Vikings could be eyeing Hoyer as a potential replacement for current No. 2 passer Joe Webb.
Throughout the 2012 preseason, Webb struggled to prove himself as a viable option behind starting quarterback Christian Ponder. In four appearances, including one start, Webb completed 21 of his 41 passes – 51.2 percent – for 199 yards. He managed only 4.9 yards per attempt and failed to connect for a single passing touchdown. He avoided throwing an interception, but was sacked five times.
Although the poor pass blocking didn’t help, Webb struggled to impress as a passer, constantly throwing off-the-mark passes and failing to find open receivers. Even when he did have time to throw, Webb had a hard time making typical NFL reads.
Heading into his third season as an NFL quarterback, Webb is quickly looking like less and less of a capable passer. His athleticism and ability to pick up yards on the ground make Webb a great athlete and playmaker, but the whole throwing aspect of the quarterback position still seems to elude him.
To make matters even worse, the only other quarterback currently on the Vikings roster is McLeod Bethel-Thompson. Even with the potential that he holds, he’s extremely raw and will need much more time before he’s ready to see extended playing time. If Ponder goes down – which isn’t out of the question – having Webb and Bethel-Thompson as the only available options isn’t reassuring for the Vikings.
With all of that in mind, Hoyer would be a welcomed addition in Minnesota. He would provide the Vikings with a semi-experienced NFL passer who had several years to learn under the tutelage of Tom Brady, one of the league’s best quarterbacks.
Yes, the media appears to have exaggerated Hoyer’s stature as a solid backup, but he still offers the potential to develop into an NFL-caliber passer that Webb no longer appears to possess. Yes, he lost out on the No. 2 job in New England to Ryan Mallett, a second-year player who was strewn with concerns coming out college. Yes, he delivered a less-than-impressive preseason performance.
Still, especially if they could get him at the right price, the Vikings wouldn’t be losing much in acquiring the former Patriots backup.
At this point in the no man’s land between preseason and regular season, anything is possible. If the Vikings deem Webb as a liability, someone like Hoyer could surface as the next best option.