Ok, I’m going to break one of my cardinal rules here. I normally despise the typical “the Steelers should sign Player X” right after a transaction. But when one of those players is someone who spent their time in Pittsburgh, there’s a little more bite to it.
The Houston Texans officially cut quarterback Brian Hoyer today. That’s been clear as say after giving a mega-deal to Brock Osweiler, and obviously without being able to find a trade partner, the team finally relented and gave Hoyer his pink slip.
You’ll remember Hoyer spent about three weeks with the Pittsburgh Steelers back in 2012. Signed on November 20th, cut on December 8th. The Cleveland Browns signed him for the following season and he played reasonably well the next two years, going 10-6 as a starter, practically Hall of Fame status for Cleveland. That included a 31-10 beatdown on Pittsburgh in 2014. Though Hoyer completed just eight passes on the day, he threw for 217 yards, including a 51 yard touchdown to Jordan Cameron.
The Steelers signed Mike Vick last year and you can bet Vick’s performance against the Steelers in 2014 had an influence on the decision. Play well against Pittsburgh and you’ll get noticed.
Hoyer spent last season with the Houston Texans, starting nine games and having a positive regular season before utterly collapsing in the playoff loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. That ugly performance aside, Hoyer has enjoyed himself a decent career and knowing any starting interest would be thin, is likely comfortable being a team’s #2.
So could that place be Pittsburgh? Mike Tomlin has hinted at a desire to upgrade the backup to Ben Roethlisberger. In his end of the year presser, Tomlin told the media he would evaluate his backup spot depending on “what my options are.” Hoyer is arguably the best option this free agency class has seen. Though Landry Jones showed signs of progression, it’s a no-brainer that Hoyer would be preferred.
And as I write this, Jason La Canfora indicates Pittsburgh certainly does have interest.
Texans have released QB Brian Hoyer. He will be in demand. Steelers among those interested in him
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) April 17, 2016
Though this is obviously pure speculation from me, I would go as far to say that Pittsburgh could be the favorites for Hoyer. It’s a win-win. Hoyer gets brought into a healthy, stable environment with a chance to win while the Steelers get a dependable, veteran backup with experience starting and coming off the bench, the ideal match for what the position demands.
Dave Bryan seems to think it would be a two or three year deal which seems entirely reasonable. It wouldn’t be a shock to see Pittsburgh bring Hoyer in this week, perhaps as early as Monday.