BOSTON (CBS) — Brian Hoyer is officially back with the Patriots as Tom Brady’s backup, but that doesn’t mean other teams weren’t interested in him as a free agent. Facing half a season with Brett Hundley under center, the Packers reportedly made an attempt to recruit Hoyer before he returned to New England.
Just don’t ask head coach Mike McCarthy about it.
Not long after getting testy with reporters over repeated questions about the possibility of the Packers signing free-agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick (which also isn’t happening), McCarthy was asked about a report from the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport that the Packers tried to “steal” Hoyer from the Patriots after he became a free agent. The coach claimed he had no knowledge of the front office’s moves regarding Hoyer or any signal-caller.
“From the time Aaron’s been injured I’ve never once been involved in a conversation about bringing in a veteran quarterback,” said McCarthy, via ESPN’s Rob Demovsky. “From the Minnesota [game] to here today, the direction that we’re going with the quarterbacks is Brett Hundley and the guys we have here.”
On the very idea of the Packers’ personnel people looking into QBs around the trade deadline, McCarthy added: “Yeah, that’s those guys doing their jobs.”
Reports indicated that Hoyer was initially supposed to be part of the trade that sent Jimmy Garoppolo to the 49ers in exchange for a 2018 second-round pick, but was instead released for compensatory pick reasons. So while it’s unlikely that Hoyer would have signed elsewhere anyway, for another team to swoop in and outbid the Patriots probably would not have been well-received by other execs across the league.
McCarthy is not the de facto GM of the Packers like Bill Belichick is for the Patriots, so it’s fair to assume that he was not involved in his team’s attempts to snag Hoyer. At the same time, it would be hard to believe that the head coach would have zero input or knowledge on matters regarding moves at the most important position on the field.
For now, potential damage in the business relationship between the Patriots and Packers has been avoided.