Brian Hoyer missed unrestricted market by one week

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Quarterback Brian Hoyer got a better chance to play for the Cardinals when the Steelers cut him on a Saturday in December.

But he lost a chance at being an unrestricted free agent by virtue of not getting another week on a roster.

According to Darren Urban of the Cardinals official website, Hoyer will actually be a restricted free agent again this offseason, since he only spent five weeks on a roster this season. Had he hung around for one more game with the Steelers, he’d have gotten the six games on a 53-man roster needed to qualify for an accrued season, and would have been unrestricted.

Hoyer was an RFA with the Patriots last year, and while some thought he might get an offer to go elsewhere, he was instead released in the preseason by the Patriots, who elected to keep just Ryan Mallett as a backup.

Now, the Cards can retain his rights for a $1.3 million tender, which might be a reasonable price to pay for a guy who some still think can be a solid backup option.