It’s valid to worry about the New England Patriots‘ offseason situation as fans are looking at another potential significant roster turnover thanks to free agency.
What happened after the 2019 offseason was traumatic enough, but this time it’s arguably just as bad (well, not really) because the Pats have very little cap space (just under $8 million), and it’s not enough to retain some of their most valuable departing talents.
Some might not even leave for a new team, though. This roster had a lot of veterans this past year who were approaching the end of their contracts and potentially their careers. Football is a grueling sport and a number of these guys have managed to last well into their 30s (sorry, not everyone can be Tom Brady), but their careers might be coming to a close.
Though we wouldn’t necessarily bet on any of these players retiring this offseason, it’s hard to say that it would be unreasonable if some (or all) decided to hang up their cleats after what many would characterize as wildly successful runs in the NFL.
These three New England Patriots could reasonably retire before the 2022 season.
3. Brian Hoyer
According to reports, Hoyer doesn’t plan on retiring and would like to return in 2022. But he’s entering his age-37 season and it wouldn’t be surprising if the Patriots went in a different direction for the backup QB spot.
Jarrett Stidham is all but done in New England and Hoyer doesn’t exactly instill confidence as the next man in line behind Mac Jones — though we have no doubt he’s offering the former Alabama star plenty of insight about what it’s like to play at the next level.
If the Patriots decide to bring in a new No. 2, would that be it for Hoyer? What if he only wants to return to New England, where he began his career and has a comfy situation with Bill Belichick as his head coach as well as a stable system behind him? Would another situation as a backup elsewhere be as appealing? We’d guess not.
So, although Hoyer “plans” on returning in 2022, it wouldn’t at all be surprising if he shifted gears should the Patriots change course and look for a younger, more impactful backup quarterback to better insure themselves against a Jones injury.