Hoyer extension talk probably just talk
A report Monday said the Cleveland Browns would like to sign quarterback Brian Hoyer to a contract extension.
It’s not a bad idea by the Browns; Hoyer is entering training camp as the team’s starter, performed well before getting injured last season and has just one year left on his current contract before he’ll be eligible for unrestricted free agency.
It’s hard to believe, though, that the two sides would get anything done in the way of a contract anytime soon. Hoyer’s agent , Joe Linta, said as much in an e-mail to the Akron Beacon Journal when he wrote that "it would be very difficult to move forward until we see how the season plays out."
There’s too much uncertainty on both sides. The Browns just drafted Johnny Manziel in the first round, and history shows the hot rookie almost always wins out, at least eventually.
If Hoyer thinks he’s going to win out at least in this season’s quarterback battle — and it’s certainly possible — he’d be silly not to bet on himself. Signing now would almost certainly mean signing a deal that’s done with financial caution the team’s part and a bunch of outs.
There are a couple things that both sides certainly know. First, winning and deserving quarterbacks in today’s NFL get paid. Like, really paid. There are still a bunch of teams with uncertain quarterback situations and almost certainly will be more as the season goes along. One of those teams is the Houston Texans, whose new head coach used to be Hoyer’s position coach. Linta and Hoyer could prefer to negotiate with more leverage than they have now, with Hoyer working for a new coaching staff in a new offense having to prove to everyone — himself included — he can get healthy and stay healthy and be the guy Browns fans have been waiting for since Hoyer was in middle school going to Browns games with his father.
Two, guaranteed money is the only money that matters in NFL contracts. Hoyer probably couldn’t get much — at least by quarterbacking standards — right now. Because he’s coming off knee surgery and has been confronted by his football mortality at least twice now, maybe he’d like to explore a contract that provides him some financial comfort. That makes sense.
That, though, would require possibly signing up to hold a clipboard for Manziel for at least 2015. He may see that as almost as bad as being the guy who has to get Manziel out of the club without the TMZ cameras noticing.
Hoyer is due to make $1 million this year with the possibility of doubling that through incentives. Hoyer is going to be 29 in October; if he really is going to be a winning quarterback in the NFL, he still has plenty of time to do it.
The timing of anything done now would be curious because no one knows how this is all going to play out — for Hoyer and for the team. Hoyer and Linta don’t know what the Browns will look like eight months from now when it’s time to start making the business decisions that will shape the 2015-16 roster. The Browns don’t even know what the Browns will look like eight months from now.
The possibility of Hoyer signing an extension is something to talk about at a time most of the NFL is on vacation. Right now, it’s hard to believe this discussion is anything more than that. And no one could or should fault the Browns for at least exploring it.