Steelers Reportedly Interested in Signing Brian Hoyer

Following his release from the Houston Texans, quarterback Brian Hoyer is reportedly being eyed by the Steelers as backup insurance.

The Houston Texans shocked the football world when they signed former Broncos quarterback Brock Osweiler to a 4-year, $72 million contract at the beginning of NFL free agency. In wake of Osweiler’s arrival, the Texans have opted to part ways with 2015’s original starter, Brian Hoyer, as first reported by ABC 13’s Bob Slovak.

Hoyer started nine games for the Texans last season and managed to post respectable numbers. His 60.7 completion percentage was the highest of his career as a starter, as were his 19 touchdown passes. The Texans finished 5-4 in games that Hoyer started. Houston ended the season at 9-7, good for first in the AFC South. 

Still, Hoyer was never able to find the consistency necessary to justify his starting role. In the Wild Card round of the NFL Playoffs, Hoyer self-destructed, throwing for 144 yards and four interceptions as the Texans were walloped 30-0 by the Kansas City Chiefs.

Prior to his time in Houston, Hoyer led the Cleveland Browns offense for much of the 2014 season. In fact, it was under Hoyer that the Browns upset the Steelers 31-10 in October 2014. Chants of “BRI-AN HOY-ER” rung throughout Cleveland that day, as it was the only the second time the Browns topped the Steelers with Ben Roethlisberger at the helm.

According to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, the Steelers are among the teams vying for Hoyer. While this interest may initially seem fickle, there is warrant behind it.

The Steelers have become all too familiar with the repercussions of inept backup quarterbacks. In relief of Roethlisberger last season, Landry Jones threw for 513 yards, 3 touchdowns and 4 interceptions; Michael Vick passed for 314 yards with 2 touchdowns and a single interception. Although both backups managed to squeeze out some victories, their lethargic offensive production kept opponents in it until the final whistle.

Bruce Gradkowski, the Steelers presumed #1 backup, is currently a free agent, as is Vick. If neither are re-signed, then Jones will be the only QB suiting up behind Big Ben. Don’t expect the Steelers to allow that to happen.

Gradkowski missed the entire 2015 season with a finger injury, and no recent news has given us an idea of whether the Steelers wish to re-sign him. Vick has said that he wishes to contribute for another year, but given his sluggishness when running the offense, he likely will not get that chance.

Cap space is limited, but if the Steelers can snag Hoyer as backup insurance, it could prove to be a worthy acquisition.

Stats used via Pro Football Reference.

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