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Patriots cut Brian Hoyer, leaving Ryan Mallett as only backup QB

New England Patriots v New York Giants Getty Images

The Patriots have chosen to go with Ryan Mallett as the only backup to Tom Brady, having released quarterback Brian Hoyer.

They’ve also cut veteran offensive lineman Dan Koppen, according to Shalise Manza Young of the Boston Globe.

Hoyer, a former undrafted free agent who made the team in 2009, was Brady’s backup last year prior to Mallett being picked in the third round.

There was talk he could be a trade chip, but the Patriots apparently couldn’t find anyone interested.

Update: 1:32 p.m. ET: They’ve also released wide receiver Deion Branch, per multiple reports. The youth movement is on in New England, after they released Jabar Gaffney and Donte Stallworth as well.

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32 Responses to “Patriots cut Brian Hoyer, leaving Ryan Mallett as only backup QB”
  1. billinva says: Aug 31, 2012 1:24 PM

    What the hell?

    He shouldn’t be out of work for long though.

  2. sj39 says: Aug 31, 2012 1:24 PM

    They should name Mallett the starter.

  3. h3min1230 says: Aug 31, 2012 1:25 PM

    My money is on Arizona giving him a shot.

  4. theandy59 says: Aug 31, 2012 1:29 PM

    Kind of saw this coming…Brian didn’t have a great training camp, and Mallet showed significant improvement. I just don’t believe Hoyer has an NFL caliber arm. I’m guessing that Koppen was given an option to stay on a reduced salary and decided to pass.

  5. AlanSaysYo says: Aug 31, 2012 1:29 PM

    Hilarious in light of comments from Patriot fans over the past year that teams would be willing to trade a high round pick for Hoyer, and that he was better than some of the starting QBs in the league.

  6. Ghost Rat says: Aug 31, 2012 1:30 PM

    They must have figured he wasn’t better than Mallett, and get to save $1.9 million this season.

  7. axltcu says: Aug 31, 2012 1:32 PM

    Looks like Deion Branch in gone too.

  8. kacapaco says: Aug 31, 2012 1:32 PM

    Whaw. I never saw this coming.

  9. taintedlombardis says: Aug 31, 2012 1:33 PM

    Trade chip? We’ve all seen how Pats QBs fare once they’ve left the system of stolen signals and extra radio frequencies…

  10. dirtybird28 says: Aug 31, 2012 1:34 PM

    Hoyer to ‘Zona, Koppen to Dallas.

  11. EJ says: Aug 31, 2012 1:38 PM

    The Patriots are leaving a vacancy open at QB because they know that the Buffalo Bills will be releasing Tyler Thigpen, who they will grab immediately. That will be there ^IN^ for information on the Bills Offense. The Patriots have pumped info from players of future opponents many times, thats what they do.

  12. bobward2770 says: Aug 31, 2012 1:40 PM

    The Patriots made Hoyer their restricted free agent and therefore owe him $2.4 million guaranteed! They are hoping some other team picks him up and or pays him enough after he clears waivers to offset what they owe him.

  13. Mitch Cumstein says: Aug 31, 2012 1:40 PM

    Hilarious in light of comments from Patriot fans over the past year that teams would be willing to trade a high round pick for Hoyer, and that he was better than some of the starting QBs in the league.
    ———————————————-

    Seriously. Bill Simmons and Mike Lombardi said this a few times on Simmons’ podcast last year. Isn’t Lombardi supposed to, you know, be able to evaluate talent?

  14. blacknole08 says: Aug 31, 2012 1:42 PM

    Hoyer was just terrible in the pre-season. This comes as no surprise.

  15. misterpigglesworth says: Aug 31, 2012 1:47 PM

    this is why the patriots should be on hardknocks. would love to be a fly on the wall during these meetings.

  16. jwarr37 says: Aug 31, 2012 1:48 PM

    My money is on Arizona giving him a shot.

    _______

    Apparently the Pats offered the Cards Hoyer for a 6th and the Cards turned it down. I just don’t understand teams sometimes.

  17. surfinbird1 says: Aug 31, 2012 1:48 PM

    Brian will always be a backup,Koppen Just doesn’t have it anymore,and Branch became a catch and hit the deck kind of guy. All good locker room guys,and team players,but business is business. Good luck to them.

  18. dbarnes79 says: Aug 31, 2012 1:53 PM

    He would look good in Arizona red.

  19. dbarnes79 says: Aug 31, 2012 2:00 PM

    Titans should pick up Koppen. They really need help at center.

  20. rickrock6661982 says: Aug 31, 2012 2:00 PM

    Bill Simmons told me Hoyer was the best backup in the leage. Potentially the best in league history!

    Clearly, this has to be a ruse as Bill is never a homer about Boston sports

  21. tedmurph says: Aug 31, 2012 2:00 PM

    If Ariz doesn’t take him, bet the jets will. Light a candle for Brady, Mallet isn’t ready.

  22. rhodeislandpatriotsfan says: Aug 31, 2012 2:04 PM

    In my view, Ryan Mallet had clearly staked out a claim as the No. 2 quarterback behind Brady. I fully support this move by New England. While Mallet has much to improve on, he also has considerable potential.

  23. bullcharger says: Aug 31, 2012 2:09 PM

    Mitch Cumstein says:Aug 31, 2012 1:40 PM

    Hilarious in light of comments from Patriot fans over the past year that teams would be willing to trade a high round pick for Hoyer, and that he was better than some of the starting QBs in the league.
    ———————————————-

    Seriously. Bill Simmons and Mike Lombardi said this a few times on Simmons’ podcast last year. Isn’t Lombardi supposed to, you know, be able to evaluate talent?

    ——————

    That was last year. The Patriots might have been able to trade him then, but they needed him. He wasn’t great this pre-season so no hope for a trade. Also… No one is saying Hoyer is bad. Mallet just outplayed him. Mallet was a first round talent, so I think it’s kind of going as planned.

  24. jacflash says: Aug 31, 2012 2:17 PM

    Mallet has way more upside, maybe enough to be Brady’s successor. Hoyer’s best hope was to grow into being one of those guys who makes good decisions with a meh arm — Chad Pennington, more or less. On the other hand, there’s still a team or two for whom a Chad clone might be an upgrade. We’ll see.

  25. brazzz01 says: Aug 31, 2012 2:18 PM

    Hoyer is due $2 million for a guy who has not shown he can start in the NFL. Makes sense.

  26. descendency says: Aug 31, 2012 2:20 PM

    I called this a few days ago.

    Mallett needs to develop in the system more, but he’s a far superior QB than Hoyer. Hoyer isn’t needed and a 3rd QB is a luxury.

    I’m just a bit surprised no one wanted to give up a late rounder to avoid being a potential loser in a waiver claim process.

  27. j98me2 says: Aug 31, 2012 2:30 PM

    Hopefully Koppen was released because they know Waters is coming. Kopppen is past the point he can play 16 games, but would still be ok a a depth player given how thin the line is. Could be trying to get him back for less to be a depth guy to. Not sure how much he was going to make this year.

  28. j0esixpack says: Aug 31, 2012 2:32 PM

    rhodeislandpatriotsfan says: In my view, Ryan Mallet had clearly staked out a claim as the No. 2 quarterback behind Brady.
    —————————————-

    We didn’t see much in the pre-season games – but then again it wouldn’t be the first time someone has earned a spot based on productive practices – which admittedly I haven’t seen.

    Cassell looked horrible in the pre-season in ’08 but played pretty well stepping in for Brady.

    The reality is that Hoyer was gone after this year, and if Brady goes down the Pats are in the same boat whether its Hoyer or Mallett

  29. puba76 says: Aug 31, 2012 2:34 PM

    I think most saw this coming for awhile. Mallett’s got too much potential, and good teams dont usually keep 3 (i dont really get any argument to do so?) so no surprise, but For a typically classy organization I would have thought they would have done this a couple weeks ago and given him a chance in another camp!

  30. pastabelly says: Aug 31, 2012 2:42 PM

    Hoyer played himself out of a job during the preseason. It’s that simple. Mallet was just as good or better and is cheaper. They went with only two quarterbacks in 2009 and 2010 and probably feel that Mallet is good enough to be the backup.

  31. trevor123698 says: Aug 31, 2012 2:59 PM

    I say theres one possible reason. They are having a hard time eliminating someone. probably that rugby guy

  32. bainmethuen says: Aug 31, 2012 7:18 PM

    Word on the street is there will be a vet coming in. Might not be until after week 1, might be now.

    As for the other cuts..They are cutting vested vets like Gaffney, Branch, and others who if on rosters for week 1 would cost the claiming team guaranteed money. Knowing there are only a few teams who might want them to begin with, and of those, most are too cheap to guarantee the money. They are counting on human nature “greed”to help them stock their practice squad with player with after week one. If they get 4 or 5 of the kids they want through, it is actually flipping brilliant.

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