The NFL journey of Brian Hoyer '04 will continue with the Indianapolis Colts.
After the New England Patriots cut Hoyer over the weekend, the veteran quarterback landed on his feet.
As Ian Rapoport first tweeted on Sunday morning and the Colts later announced, Hoyer signed a three-year deal. Worth $12 million overall, the contract includes $9 million guaranteed.
"I'm so excited for Brian," said the Wildcats' offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, Nick Restifo, who mentored Brian at Saint Ignatius. "He's paid his dues, there's no doubt about it. He's been all over the place and done well wherever he's been. This is a great opportunity for him, and I'm glad he's got a good paycheck for it. Don't be surprised if you see him starting one of these days. When you have a young quarterback, you never know what's going to happen. I'm super excited for him."
The Colts become the eighth team to employ the 2004 Saint Ignatius graduate. Hoyer's career started with a 3-year stint in New England under the legendary Tom Brady. After being cut in 2012, Hoyer landed with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and then the Arizona Cardinals. The Cleveland Browns brought him home for the 2013 and 2014 seasons before releasing him, to the dismay of many local Wildcat-Browns fans.
Hoyer started 9 games with the Houston Texans in 2015, including a playoff game, before finding his way to the Chicago Bears. Hoyer worked with a fellow Wildcat quarterback, Dave Ragone '98, for the 2016 season. In 2017, the San Franciso 49ers acquired him and played him for six games before trading for Jimmy Garoppolo. Hoyer found his way back to the Patriots, spending the rest of 2017 and the 2018 season.
In February, Hoyer became the first Saint Ignatius alumnus to win a Super Bowl ring as a player, when the Patriots bested the Rams in Super Bowl LIII.
During his time with the Patriots, Hoyer became close friends with Brady. The future Hall of Fame QB expressed sadness at Hoyer's release during a Tuesday appearance on WEEI in Boston. Via Bleacher Report:
"He has been a great friend ever since he came to our team in 2009. I always kept in touch with him. When he came back two seasons ago we picked up right where he left off. He added so much to our meeting room. I had so much trust and confidence in the things that he saw. He also had been exposed to a lot of different offensive systems so he brought some different knowledge—how people ran different offenses and so forth. He always provided great insight and great leadership.
"It's very difficult to see your friends get released and that was really no different. It's part of what happens in the NFL. I will never get used to it. I know that any team that Brian is on is a better team for having him. Indy has got a great quarterback in having Brian there."
On the bright side, Hoyer will have a chance to work with another Saint Ignatius alum – Jonathan Gannon '01. A 13-year NFL veteran coach, Gannon has coached the Colts' defensive backs for the past two seasons. Gannon previously worked with the Minnesota Vikings, Tennessee Titans, and the St. Louis Rams.
Gannon, a member of the Saint Ignatius Athletic Hall of Fame, enjoyed a stellar career at Saint Ignatius as a shutdown corner and wideout. He also starred on the basketball court. Gannon played one year at Louisville before suffering a career-ending injury. After coaching with the Cardinals for three seasons and graduating, Gannon moved on to a successful NFL career.
"They're finally on the same team together, that's the great thing about it," Restifo said. "I'm sure Jon is helping Brian with where to live, where to send your kids to school, and all that stuff. It's great when you're moving into a new community to have someone to lead the way for you. I'm sure those guys will get along famously.
"In fact, I talked to Brian yesterday on the phone, and he said he and Jon were together. I wanted to ask him, 'Who's going to give strokes to whom in the golf game,' because I know Jon is pretty good," Restifo joked.
Hoyer is certain to do well in Indy, as he's done everywhere else in his career. Gannon will help him feel right at home.
On behalf of Saint Ignatius, congrats, Brian! Good luck with the Colts!