NFL AM: Bears Get QB Insurance With Hoyer


Bears Ink Brian Hoyer

With the idea of adding depth to one of the worst quarterback situations in the NFL, the Chicago Bears have come to terms with former Browns and Texans quarterback Brian Hoyer.

Hoyer signed a discounted deal as it seems like there would be a greater market for a player who led the Texans to the AFC South title last year prior to his playoff game implosion.

With a $2 million deal, it’s not likely that the Bears front office has plans of thrusting Hoyer into a real quarterback competition with incumbent starter Jay Cutler.

But should they?

In 2015, “Smokin’ Jay” had one of his better seasons as he completed 64 percent of his throws, for 3,659 yards with 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.  His 92.3 quarterback rating was the highest of his career, while earning $15.5 million.  Cutler will earn a cool $16 million in 2016.

Bargain basement quarterback Brian Hoyer also had a career year, while battling his former head coach Bill O’Brien’s carousel of starters.  He completed 60.7 percent of his passes, for 2,606 yards with 19 touchdowns and just seven interceptions while posting a passer rating of 91.4.

It’s undeniable that Cutler has significantly more talent than Hoyer.  With that said, if you can get similar production (and the stats tell us you can) with a quarterback who’s three years younger and $14 million cheaper, that’s something that you have to consider, right?

Bears Release Rolle and Slauson

After signing quarterback Brian Hoyer, the Bears were not done on Sunday as they released veteran safety Antrel Rolle and veteran guard Matt Slauson.

“We thank Matt and Antrel for the dedication and leadership they brought to our organization,” Bears general manager Ryan Pace said. “Both men did everything we asked of them. Part of growing as a team is making difficult decisions like the ones we made today. We never take them lightly, given the respect we have for everyone who has put on a Bears uniform. We wish each of them the very best as they move forward.”

The writing was certainly on the wall for the 33-year old Rolle, who saw Chicago draft not one, but two safeties over the weekend.  They selected Miami’s Deon Bush in the fourth round and DeAndre Houston-Carson from William and Mary in the sixth round.

Rolle and Bush worked out together, as many former University of Miami players do, and the fourth-round pick was looking forward to suiting up to one of his idols.

“I grew up watching Antrel Rolle, and while he was down here in Miami, I was working out with him, so he’s kind of like a mentor to me,” Bush said. “He’s been in the league for a long time, and I want to be in the league for a long time, so there’s a lot to learn from him. It’s just great having another player from The U, being like a family, like a brotherhood, and it’ll be great playing with him.”

That should serve as Bush’s first lesson that the National Football League is first and foremost a business.

As for Slauson, he likely knew his days were numbered in Chicago when the team selected former Kansas State guard Cody Whitehair in the second round of the draft.  Slauson started 16 games last season for the Bears, 12 at guard and four at center.  He played in Chicago for three seasons after spending the first four years of his career with the New York Jets.

The market for Slauson will be greater than that of the 33-year old Rolle.  The former “U” safety played in just seven games last season and was placed on injured reserve because of ankle and knee injuries, and he hasn’t been the same player since turning 30.

It’s difficult to come up with a landing spot for Rolle.  Although there isn’t much of a former player-coach connection, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Carolina Panthers would seem to be the two teams that make the most sense.  They have dire needs at safety and it’s likely that Rolle will come cheap.

As for Slauson, an immediate team that comes to mind is the Miami Dolphins, who are coached by Adam Gase, his former coordinator in Chicago.  Other interested parties could be the New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers, Arizona Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks and Houston Texans.

About Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein is the managing football editor for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade.  Charlie has hosted drive time radio for NBC and ESPN affiliates in different markets around the country, along with being an NFL correspondent for ESPN Radio and WFAN.  He has been featured on the NFL Network as well as Sirius/XM NFL Radio and has been published on Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as numerous other publications.