FOXBOROUGH, Mbad. — The New England Patriots and free-agent quarterback Brian Hoyer have reached agreement on a three-year contract, league sources told ESPN on Wednesday.
Hoyer returns to the team where his NFL career began as an undrafted player out of Michigan State in 2009. He served as Tom Brady’s backup through the 2011 season before moving on to stops with the Pittsburgh Steelers (2012), Arizona Cardinals (2012), Cleveland Browns (2013-14), Houston Texans (2015), Chicago Bears (2016) and San Francisco 49ers (2017).
Hoyer was released by the 49ers on Tuesday after they acquired quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo from the Patriots in exchange for a 2018 second-round draft choice.
The 32-year-old Hoyer joins Brady as the two quarterbacks on the Patriots’ roster. They have remained close friends over the years.
Hoyer has started 37 career games, which gives the Patriots an experienced option behind the 40-year-old Brady. He has a record of 16-21, completing 59.3 percent of his pbades with 48 touchdowns and 30 interceptions.
His background in the Patriots’ system made him the obvious choice to fill the in-season void created by the Garoppolo trade, though New England wasn’t the only team that expressed interest in signing him.
Hoyer signed a two-year deal with the 49ers in free agency this year and entered the season as the clear-cut starter for the first time in his nine-year career. He started the first six games before he was benched in favor of rookie C.J. Beathard in the team’s loss to Washington on Oct. 16.
“We really want to thank Brian for everything he brought to our organization,” 49ers general manager John Lynch said Tuesday. “He’s been a true pro, both when he had the opportunity to be the guy and then when we made the move to move on to C.J. He’s been nothing but supportive in every manner. We wish Brian the best going forward.”