Hoyer if you hear me! That’s right, in a move expected much sooner than it happened, Las Vegas Raiders general manager Dave Ziegler made longtime NFL veteran Brian Hoyer a member of the Silver and Black on Tuesday on a two-year deal. Let’s get this out of the way first: His full name is Axel Edward Brian Hoyer, and having a quarterback with the first name Axel is about as Raider as it can get.
Released by the New England Patriots before free agency even began, Hoyer is a natural fit for Josh McDaniels’ and Dave Ziegler’s Raiders. The head coach and general manager are well aware of what Hoyer brings to the table. Obviously, that’s based on their respective tenures in Foxboro. And it’s a surprise it took this long for the union between Hoyer and the Raiders to happen. Perhaps the 37-year-old quarterback mulled retirement, and that’s the cause of the delay?
Raiders go with familiarity (again)…
Regardless, the 15-year NFL vet gives McDaniels and the Raiders a signal caller keen on the scheme and system that’s in place in Las Vegas now. Hoyer most likely slots into the QB2 role. He’ll also provide a solid soundboard for new starter Jimmy Garoppolo, youngster Chase Garbers, and any other young quarterbacks the Raiders decide to add to the roster. Because what Hoyer gives McDaniels as QB2 isn’t just a backup he can trust but a grizzled mentor who can impart valuable knowledge to a rookie QB and Garbers. Hoyer can accelerate the steep learning curve for inexperienced rookies. At the same time, he can alleviate the learning period to acclimate to McDaniels’ ways because the vet is accustomed to them.
With his experience, Brian Hoyer can also plug in at QB1 if the injury bug bites Jimmy Garoppolo again.
But there’s little doubt Garoppolo and Hoyer give McDaniels an experienced one-two punch at quarterback.
Yet, even with the pair of ex-Patriots in tow, their presence on the roster should not preclude the Raiders from drafting another signal caller in the upcoming 2023 NFL Draft. If somehow a prime quarterback prospect falls into the Raiders’ lap at No. 7 overall later this month, serious considerations for selecting the signal caller must be made. And if opportunities arise to select another quarterback in the rounds past the opening stanza, Las Vegas should entertain them and not dismiss them.
Saying “we’re good; we got Jimmy G and Old Man Hoyer at QB” isn’t an exercise in excellence. Garoppolo isn’t a paragon of health and all-important availability. That’s something the Raiders were quick to point out with tight end and oft-injured Darren Waller. Hoyer may know the scheme well, but he too was lost for much of 2022 due to a concussion. Chase Garbers has an intriguing skillset, but not enough to merit trust.
So, I’ll leave it up to Randy Orton to succinctly summarize my thoughts if the Raiders pass on quality QB talent in the draft:
Randy Orton calling Kofi Kingston stupid like 15 times pic.twitter.com/KC91tVnVoZ
— NiKa$h (REACTION VIDS + PICS) (@GoinKawhi) November 12, 2022
Anything can happen on Draft Day
Both Josh McDaniels and Dave Ziegler speak openly of the team being open to anything on draft day.
“I think in terms of our roster, what we’ve tried to do is put ourselves in a position so we can actually draft the best player that we feel like is available at the time,” said McDaniels. “We’re open to anything… That’s nothing new. But if that happened to be a quarterback, then it’s a quarterback. If it happens to be a defensive lineman, it’s a defensive lineman. If it happened to be a tight end, it’s a tight end, you know what I mean?”
Ziegler, the final arbiter on the makeup of the Raiders’ roster, echoed his head coach and longtime friend.
“We’re never going to be afraid of the quarterback position to make that position a position of strength. And so if that means we’re drafting a young player at a certain point of the draft, we’re always going to be open to doing that regardless of what our situation is. And that’s going to be no different this year.”
No more p*ssyfooting around the quarterback position, Raiders.
It’s about damn time to make the depth chart a strength, not a death sentence if QB1 is lost for any amount of time.
*Top Photo: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports
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