Now that the Jets are locked in on drafting their new, young starting quarterback, they are trying to figure out who his veteran backup will be.
Brian Hoyer, who has played for seven teams over 12 seasons, visited the Jets on Thursday, according to a source. Hoyer, 35, played for the Patriots last season, starting one game.
Hoyer has familiarity with the Jets’ new offense. He played for the Browns in 2014 when Kyle Shanahan was the offensive coordinator and Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur was an intern. He also started six games for the 2017 49ers with Shanahan as the head coach and LaFleur as the passing game coordinator. Jets coach Robert Saleh was the defensive coordinator of the 49ers and saw Hoyer up close. Hoyer went 0-6 in that season in San Francisco before Jimmy Garoppolo took over.
Backup quarterback is a need for the Jets. After trading Sam Darnold on Monday, the Jets only have James Morgan and Mike White at the position. Neither has ever taken a snap in an NFL game. The Jets are expected to select BYU quarterback Zach Wilson with the No. 2-overall pick in three weeks at the 2021 draft. They need to find a veteran to back up and mentor Wilson.
Hoyer also has played for the Patriots, Cardinals, Texans, Bears and Colts, mostly as a backup. He is 16-23 as a starter.
The Jets have had trouble at the backup spot in recent years. They have not won a game started by a backup quarterback since 2016, when Bryce Petty won a game in San Francisco. They are 0-15 since then with a backup starting. Joe Flacco served as the backup to Darnold last season, losing his four starts. Flacco signed with the Eagles as a free agent this offseason.
The Jets re-signed safety Bennett Jackson on Thursday. He appeared in four games last year before being placed on injured reserve with a hamstring injury. He has been on and off the Jets over the last two years.
The team also signed offensive lineman Corey Levin, who was a sixth-round pick of the Titans in 2017. He started one game in 2018 for Tennessee. He was cut in 2019 and spent time with the Broncos, Bears and Patriots on practice squads and during the offseason since then.