Brian Hoyer has been trying to find his place in the NFL ever since leaving his position as a backup quarterback to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. After stints with the Cleveland Browns and Houston Texans, where he started for both teams but failed to hold the job, he is now playing with the San Francisco 49ers. There are a lot of rumors that Hoyer is just holding the position for one season but he is trying to prove that he belongs in the starting role and is taking a leadership role with the 49ers.

The curse of Tom Brady’s backups

Tom Brady is 40-years-old and has had a number of backups over his long and illustrious career with the New England Patriots.

It is a thankless role that usually only sees a player get a chance to play on very rare occasions. However, it is also a position where NFL teams believe that learning under Brady will prepare quarterbacks to start for other teams. That has not been the case.

Matt Cassel was Brady’s backup for four seasons and played great when playing in 2008 after Brady tore his ACL. The Patriots traded Cassel after that season to the Kansas City Chiefs and he got his chance to start. After a knee injury in 2009, he never really gave the Chiefs what they hoped for and they released him after the 2012 season. Brian Hoyer replaced Cassel and backed up Brady for four seasons before getting the chance with the Cleveland Browns.

He started 16 games in two seasons and then played for the Houston Texans in 2015 where he was in and out of the starting lineup.

Ryan Mallett followed Brian Hoyer as Tom Brady’s backup and then the team traded him to the Houston Texans in 2014. He competed with Brian Hoyer for the job and won it temporarily until the Texans released him two months into the season.

Mallett is now Joe Flacco’s backup in Baltimore. New England now has Jimmy Garoppolo as the backup and a number of teams inquired about trading for him, hoping he breaks the trend.

Brian Hoyer’s new opportunity

Brian Hoyer’s first year as a real starter in the NFL came in 2014 with the Cleveland Browns. He played 14 games, threw for 3,326 yards, with 12 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.

However, the Browns couldn’t win due to poor play at all positions. In 2015, Hoyer was really the best of all the quarterbacks that the Houston Texans played. He played in 11 games and threw for 2,606 yards with 19 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Despite this, Houston let him go after one year. He was the backup to Jay Cutler in Chicago last year and started six games after Cutler was injured. He threw for 1,445 yards with six touchdowns and no picks.

There are a lot of rumors that the San Francisco 49ers signed Brian Hoyer to serve as the quarterback for one year until they have a chance to try to sign Kirk Cousins in 2018. This year, Hoyer has a chance to either prove the 49ers should stick with him or prove he is good enough to sign on with another team next year.

"All I can do is play this season," Hoyer said. Without competition for the starting job, Hoyer said that “this is my team, this is my offense, it kind of eliminates that and you can just focus on the football side of it."