Yesterday, the New England Patriots cut ties with 26-year-old backup quarterback Brian Hoyer, and the Philadelphia Eagles did the same to Mike Kafka after he “lost” the third quarterback job behind Michael Vick and Nick Foles to Trent Edwards. The Eagles were not able to trade Kafka and dumped him off anyway; he is currently nursing a left hand injury that played a big role in his release. Rookie QB Foles usurped him as the No. 2 quarterback after a strong Monday Night Football preseason performance against the Patriots.
Due to the proximity of both releases, a few Patriots fans want the organization to pick up Kafka as a more sure-handed backup quarterback than Ryan Mallett. Only carrying the second-year quarterback on the roster is risky, which is one of the main criticisms pointed at the surprising release of Hoyer (awful preseason, however).
The interesting thing here is that Hoyer and Kafka have, essentially, the same skill-set. Both are quarterbacks with weak arms but have a high amount of accuracy, except the gap is more pronounced for Kafka than Hoyer. A classic system quarterback, Kafka has terrible arm strength but is incredibly accurate and can pick apart defenses on short throws. He has a solid mid-range game as well, but Kafka has absolutely no deep ball.
Still, he’s a bit better than Hoyer, but that’s the key thing right there. “A bit”. He isn’t a whole lot better than Hoyer, and he’s only one year younger. Kafka will likely be cheaper, but things get interesting when comparing both quarterbacks. If the Patriots released Hoyer because they feel like they didn’t need another backup and like Mallett enough, then why would they sign Kafka? I mean, he does have basically the same skill-set as Hoyer.
Another item that needs to be pondered is, well, what if they just didn’t think that Hoyer is good enough? If that’s the case, then there wouldn’t be much motivation to sign Kafka unless if the Patriots think he is significantly better than Hoyer. That also probably isn’t the case, because the Pats did tender him with a second-rounder this offseason. Maybe their opinions changed dramatically, but it still seems more likely that they like Mallett enough and don’t want to roll with Hoyer. After all, the Pats did release Hoyer before Kafka was released, which means that a supposed desire of an upgrade to Kafka was not a reason for Hoyer’s release.
Continue reading to view arguments for signing Kafka along with my thoughts on the chances of the New England Patriots signing Mike Kafka.