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NFL Free Agency 2012: Patriots Backup Quarterback, Brian Hoyer, Gets 2nd-Round Restricted Free Agent Tender

The New England Patriots have made their first move of the 2012 NFL Free Agent period Tuesday, and it was a minor one as they placed a second-round restricted-free-agent tender on backup quarterback Brian Hoyer. The tender makes Hoyer available to any team that would like to pay him $1.92 million and give the Patriots a second-round pick if they elect to not match the offer.

This is unlikely to happen, but if it does, the Patriots would likely be pleased to receive such compensation for a player who figures to sign elsewhere as an unrestricted free agent next year to pursue a starting role (in which the Patriots could only receive as high as a third-round compensatory pick for losing him).

Hoyer has been the backup for starting quarterback Tom Brady since entering the league as a rookie in 2009. Hoyer has played in just 13 games and it seems the Patriots a setting things up so that second-year quarterback Ryan Mallett can step-in to be Brady's backup for the 2012-13 season.

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