So when will the time be right to work something out? Linta tells PFT via email that two future dates loom for assessing his value: November 1 and the end of the season.
Implied in that position is that Hoyer, who enters the final year of his current deal, won’t be inclined to agree to a new contract before November 1. Of course, that doesn’t stop the Browns from making a bird-in-the-hand offer that Hoyer will have a hard time rejecting, especially as he continues to recover from a torn ACL. Despite any reluctance to do a deal prematurely, there’s surely a number that would get Hoyer’s attention.
Ultimately, the question is whether the Browns view Hoyer as a potential starter or as the Kirk Cousins-style understudy to a young, mobile quarterback who may get injured sooner than later. The decision to trade from No. 26 to No. 22 to get Johnny Manziel strongly suggests that Manziel will be the starter at some point. So what will they pay for a guy who possibly will be the stop-gap starter to begin the season and the break-glass option in the event that Manziel breaks something once he gets the job?
Whatever the Browns envision, if they choose to put their best deal on the table now, Hoyer possibly will take it after weighing the pros and cons and realizing that the two in the bush may not be all that easy to catch.
If Hoyer ends up starting for the entire season and playing well enough to keep Manziel on the bench, it could be very difficult to keep Hoyer beyond 2014, since someone else in a quarterback-starved league will take notice of Hoyer’s performance and dangle the kind of money that suggests he’ll compete to be the starter in a new city.