Well, this is odd…
Browns are trying to sign QB Brian Hoyer to a contract extension, per sources. Hoyer is headed into last year of his deal.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 30, 2014
So, what does this mean? Why do the Browns want to lock up Brian Hoyer when they just moved up in the draft to select Johnny Manziel?
It means that Hoyer has been more than impressive this offseason, and that the coaching staff has been telling the truth when they’ve said he was far and away the best quarterback on the field.
Nonetheless, no matter how good Hoyer is, he’s not going to be the long-term starter for the Browns. Honestly, he’ll still be lucky to be the week one starter.
That said, don’t underestimate his value to the Browns; they need him. As we’ve seen with Michael Vick, RGIII and seemingly every other running quarterback, your backup is almost as important as your starter. Two years ago, Kirk Cousins came in to relieve RGIII, and he ended up elevating himself to one of the most intriguing trade pieces in the league. Last year, Nick Foles took over for Vick, and the Eagles haven’t looked back since.
There is a legitimate chance that Manziel could be knocked silly and miss several games, if not the majority of the season. If the Browns believe Hoyer is capable of keeping the offense afloat without Manziel, he’s extremely valuable – at a price.
It’s obvious that the Browns are in such a hurry to get a deal done now because they know Hoyer’s value is at its absolute lowest. He’s coming off an ACL injury, he’s been a career journeyman and he only started three games last season. He’s an unknown commodity.
But what if he does start the season off with a bang or catches fire in relief of an injured Manziel? Then, all of the sudden, he becomes a known commodity, and, like Foles, Cousins and even Josh McCown, he could quickly be looking at a bigger contract.
That’s the reason why there is absolutely no way Hoyer signs an extension.
He has nothing to lose.
There are three scenarios:
(1) He gets to play this season, proves he’s talented and gets paid next offseason.
(2) He doesn’t play next season, realizes he will never start in front of Manziel and leaves for a team where he can actually compete.
(3) He does play, he sucks and he signs another low-level contract to be a backup, again.
Even in the third option, he’s not likely to make substantially less than he is now. Taking the contract extension right now would mean that he has no confidence in his abilities, and that’s not exactly what you want out of your quarterback anyways.
Expect Hoyer to sign a new contract, but not this offseason.
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