Yesterday, Brian Hoyer formally announced he can now be referred to as “former Browns quarterback” Brian Hoyer.
Thus ends the “should the Browns resign Hoyer for the 2015 season” debate.
His supporters will point to his record as the Cleveland starter, which is 10-6, better than any Browns’ passer since the team returned to the NFL in 1999.
His detractors, which we would fall into that category, would point out his career passing rating, a mediocre 76.8, and his four start span after Cleveland reached 6-3. His best rating in those four starts was 61.2, and that came in a critical home loss against Houston, in which he completed just 20 of 50 throws.
We have long advocated that GM Ray Farmer needed to get better at the quarterback position, whether they brought Hoyer back for this season or not, and also whether or not, Johnny Manziel is the heir apparent at the spot.
Hoyer’s record is the result of the Browns finally starting to turn the corner in terms of talent.
Although the team’s record of first round draft picks is deplorable, Tom Heckert and Farmer have brought in many good to very good football players over the last three or four years, and those guys have made the team better.
After the 2013 season, the Browns had five players selected to the Pro Bowl and this year had three. And even though Joe Thomas and Joe Haden made the squad each of those years, Alex Mack, Donte Whitner, Jordan Cameron, Tashaun Gipson, and Josh Gordon have made appearances as well.
Prior to the last couple of seasons? It was pretty much Thomas traveling to the game alone.
So, signing Josh McCown essentially swapped him out for Hoyer in 2015, but Farmer still needs to upgrade the signal caller for the upcoming season, if the brown and orange want to improve on their 7-9 record and get to the playoffs.
We would look for another QB when free agency starts next week, and the Browns should have their eyes on Jake Locker and Matt Moore to bring in to compete with Manziel and McCown.
Locker has a career rating of 79.0, but in two of his four seasons, he has had ratings of over 85.0. His problem is staying healthy, having played just 30 games in his four seasons. Perhaps with the Browns’ offensive line, which is solid despite what the critics say, and his coaches telling him to stay in the pocket, he can stay healthy and be productive.
He will be just 27 years old this season.
Moore is a veteran who has been around, he will play this season at 31 years old, but hasn’t started since the 2011 campaign.
He had an 87.1 QBR in that last season, before Miami drafted Ryan Tannehill and installed him as the starter.
In that season, he started 12 games for a Dolphin team that finished 6-10. He completed 60.5% of his throws with 16 touchdowns vs. nine interceptions.
Since then, he has tossed just 29 passes in the regular season.
He isn’t a household name, but he could be a guy like Hoyer was in the beginning of last season, meaning he avoided mistakes and put his team in positions to win.
In our opinion, that would upgrade the spot behind center coming into the season.
Now, if Farmer stands pat with McCown, Manziel, and Connor Shaw, then fans and media alike have a right to be outraged. Then, they are going with the same situation they had going into last season.
That’s not good enough to make another step forward.