Why the San Francisco 49ers Signed Brian Hoyer

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The San Francisco 49ers have added quarterback Brian Hoyer to their roster. This was a free agency move that San Francisco needed to make. Whether it was Hoyer or another veteran quarterback, San Francisco is thin at its most important position. Blaine Gabbert, Christian Ponder, and Thad Lewis are all free agents, and Colin Kaepernick will be departing the team as well. Though Brian Hoyer is far from the answer in San Francisco he will serve as tolerable back-up.

Why the San Francisco 49ers Signed Brian Hoyer

A Rough Start

Brian Hoyer has been a bit of a journeyman to this point in his career. Though he has financial well being he has been limited in actual success on the field. Starting out with the New England Patriots, Hoyer had the opportunity to learn from the best in Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. Despite that, Hoyer’s best season actually came in 2014 with the Cleveland Browns. Hoyer only played in 14 games that season and went 242-438 attempts and threw for 3,326 yards. Hoyer’s completion percentage that season was just 55.3%, and he averaged 237.6 yards per game. For his career, Hoyer has never had a completion percentage above 67.0%. Hoyer has all the measurables at 6’2″ and 215 pounds, and he is only 31 years old. Thus far it has been the mental aspect of Hoyer’s game that has failed him.

Basic Back-Up Quarterback

San Francisco did not sign Brian Hoyer to be the new starter at quarterback. Going into the start of the season with Hoyer under center is not what new head coach Kyle Shanahan would prefer to do. If Shanahan has his way the team will somehow pry Kirk Cousins out of the restrictive arms of the Washington Redskins. Making this move however may require San Francisco to give up the second pick in this year’s NFL Draft. The second pick is a high price to pay unless Shanahan is completely convinced Cousins has what it takes to be a star in the league. Cousins and Shanahan have a history together, and Shanahan may very well be lobbying to new general manager John Lynch that giving up the second pick is worth his star pupil.

Buyer Beware

Let us hope San Francisco knows exactly what they are getting in Brian Hoyer. Hoyer has proven he does not react well under pressure. During an epic playoff loss in 2016, Hoyer showed just how badly he can perform. In that 30-0 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, Hoyer threw four interceptions and lost a fumble. He was off target early and was clearly shaken.  By the end of that game, Houston Texans fans were actually chanting for Brandon Weeden. Hoyer also has a ceiling and will only play so well. We have seen Hoyer’s potential and know his talent has a plateau. If San Francisco can not obtain Kirk Cousins they may be forced to use the second pick on a quarterback. Brian Hoyer is not an ideal player to serve as a “bridge” for a young quarterback. Hopefully for San Francisco, Hoyer is not forced into that role.