At last, some movement in the Denver Broncos’ quest to strengthen its quarterback position.
Former Houston Texan quarterback Brian Hoyer was in Denver on Wednesday night eating dinner at a local steakhouse with members of the Broncos' coaching staff and personal department, a source told 9News. Hoyer's presence doesn't necessarily mean a Broncos trade for San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick has expired, although a source told 9News there has been zero discussion between Broncos general manager John Elway, the 49ers and Kaepernick in the past two weeks.
Hoyer will continue to meet Thursday with the Broncos at their team headquarters. Primarily a backup quarterback his first five NFL seasons, Hoyer emerged as a starting quarterback for the Cleveland Browns in 2014 and for the Houston Texans in 2015.
Hoyer, 30, had a career-best season for the Texans last year when he threw for 19 touchdowns against seven interceptions. He had one memorable horrific game, however. In a first-round playoff game, Hoyer completed 15 of 34 passes for only 136 yards. He also threw four interceptions in an embarrassing 30-0 home loss to Kansas City.
Because of that performance, Texans’ management aggressively pursued Broncos free-agent quarterback Brock Osweiler. Houston beat out the Broncos for Osweiler in part because of a four-year, $72 million contract that includes $37 million in full guarantee.
And now, the Broncos may wind up with Houston’s castoff. Hoyer had been scheduled to make $4.859 million this year until he was released Friday by the Texans. He visited the New York Jets on Tuesday and Wednesday. But the Jets, who have also been trying to re-sign quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, could not close the deal on Hoyer.
If the Broncos do sign Hoyer, he would compete with Mark Sanchez for the team's starting quarterback position. Trevor Siemian, a rookie last year, would continue to develop in year two.
The scheduled visit with Hoyer would indicate the Broncos are not confident they can acquire Kaepernick from San Francisco. Broncos general manager John Elway received permission from the 49ers to meet with Kaepernick last month.
However, Kaepernick would not accept a proposed pay cut from his $11.9 million fully guaranteed salary to $7 million plus incentives for the Broncos. And the 49ers are not willing to help defray Kaepernick's costs.
Kaepernick reported to the 49ers offseason program on April 4 and there has been little movement on his proposed trade talks since. However, don't rule out Kaepernick quite yet. Just because the Broncos are visiting with Hoyer on Thursday doesn't mean they will sign him. And just because the Los Angeles Rams traded up to the No. 1 draft spot and the Philadelphia Eagles traded up to No. 2 so they could take Carson Wentz and Jared Goff -- or Goff and Wentz -- doesn't mean the 49ers can't take quarterback Paxton Lynch with their No. 7 overall pick.
If the 49ers wind up with a first-round quarterback on April 28, the expectation is they would expedite a trade involving Kaepernick.Then again if the Broncos sign Hoyer on Thursday, their pursuit of Kaepernick would likely officially end.
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