1) Brian Hoyer, journeyman starting quarterback
Few players have as much longevity as Brian Hoyer without fully catching on with one team. A player for five teams since entering the league in 2009 and a starter for four of those teams, Hoyer has seen his fair share of offensive systems and organizations.
Shockingly, Hoyer has shouldered through the adversity of changing locales almost every year to put together an impressive resume. A career 16-15 record as a starter (even with two years playing for the Cleveland Browns in which he went 10-6 as starter) is the primary highlight for Hoyer. He has shown he can adapt to a new situation and play effectively enough in average games to be a threat.
While he may be most remembered for his disastrous single moment on a big stage – a four interception performance in the 2015 playoffs for the Houston Texans – Hoyer should be respected as a passer worth his salt through the regular season. His rebound from 2015’s horrendous end to his performance for the Chicago Bears in 2016 is particularly noteworthy.
Starting for the Bears from Week 3 to Week 7, Hoyer was one of the hottest quarterbacks in the NFL before being sidelined by injury. His 98.0 passer rating would have been seventh best in the NFL if he had kept it up for the rest of the season. He didn’t light up the scoreboard but he did manage to throw six touchdowns with zero interceptions in five starts. He did that while completing 67 percent of his passes.
Hoyer is by no means a perfect player, but he may be in the midst of a late-career renaissance. The end of 2015 could kill some players’ careers but Hoyer rebounded to post his best series of games in his career. While the Bears may bring Hoyer back, he’ll have to compete to be the starter. Other teams will be gunning for him, especially after displaying (yet again) his resilience.
The real question when considering Hoyer is whether he is an upgrade for the Jacksonville Jaguars over Chad Henne. Henne is also a veteran but hasn’t had as much success as Hoyer through his career. He also hasn’t been as consistently safe with the football, which adds another consideration.