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The Patriots Biggest Cut Down Day Move: Releasing Brian Hoyer

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I had a blog all written in my head about how the Patriots managed to hit the cutdown deadline without any real surprising moves. It was going to be all about how, sure, they announced layoffs in the Undersized Folk Hero Department by putting Braxton Berrios and Gunner Olsweski on unemployment, but just yesterday I was I was saying there looked like there was no space for Honey Nut Berrios. And we all understood Olszewski was a longshot at best and it was a toss up as to whether it was worth teaching your autocorrect to spell his name. As a matter of fact, I was looking forward to writing that blog because I’m sure it would’ve been Pulitzer worthy. But now it’s a moot point.

By no means am I going to pretend that releasing Brian Hoyer is shocking news. It was always an option and at best it rates at about a 5.0 on the Lawyer Milloy Scale. But it does qualify as a mild surprise, at least.

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This team loved Hoyer. It’s been very much ignored that he was part of the unofficial return in the Jimmy Garoppolo trade. When people ask why the Patriots settled for the offer from San Francisco instead of shopping Jimmy G around to the highest bidder, they always mention the Niners’ 2nd rounder and forget that the Pats also received a competent, veteran, backup quarterback with starting experience and who knows their system. You can’t put a price on that peace of mind. (Though if you did, that price would be exactly equal to backup QB money.) The coaches trusted Hoyer. Teammates respected him. And never forget how, just days after Super Bowl LIII, the McCourty Twins were raving about how invaluable Hoyer was at running the scout team because he had a grasp of the Rams’ system and helped devise the most successful defensive game plan in Super Bowl history.

So for the Patriots to move away from Hoyer now doesn’t just speak volumes about their opinion of Jarrett Stidham, it screams it into an amplifier louder than my sainted mom’s TV when she’d watch Oprah. They’re obviously confident the kid has enough of a grasp of the McOffense that they can trust him to be Brady’s only backup. And if you’re part of that crowd who claims it doesn’t matter who the back up QB is because if something should happen to Brady, then I’ll do what I always do: Ask you why you have a spare tire in your car. I mean, if you get a blowout you’re screwed anyway, so why bother? You might as well just accept the inevitable, crawl off into the woods and let the animals maul your carcass.

The Pats don’t accept that fate. If a backup quarterback is needed, they’re going to make goddamned sure they have faith in theirs. This franchise didn’t write off the 2008 season and they won’t any season going forward. They trusted Hoyer. We can only assume they trust Studman. The man who, with Hoyer’s departure, just became the AFC East’s second best quarterback.

So thanks to Brian Hoyer for his service. We’re all glad we never actually needed it. And I’d be shocked if by the time you’re done reading it, Hoyer isn’t the starting quarterback in Indy or someplace.