Skip to main content

Tom Brady Told Brian Hoyer to 'Be Ready' For 2019 Patriots?

Amidst a contract dispute toward the end of his New England Patriots career, Tom Brady was ready to turn things over to longtime backup Brian Hoyer.

Most of Brian Hoyer's lengthy NFL career, primarily spent as a backup, has centered around the concept of being ready. 

All the prep time in the world, however, probably couldn't have gotten him well-situated for the challenge that nearly fell in his lap before the 2019 New England Patriots season.

Hoyer was a preferred spectator for the final days of "The Dynasty," the unprecedented run of Foxborough prosperity overseen by Tom Brady that's now the subject of an ongoing Apple TV+ docuseries. While the series somewhat skipped over the happenings of the 2019 season, Brady's last of 20 Patriot tours, Hoyer harped on the happenings during an aftershow on NBC Sports Boston.

"I remember one day Tom coming to me and being like, "Hey babe, just be ready to play the whole year,'" Hoyer recalled. "I remember being like, 'What happened? Did you get hurt? What's going on?' and he said, 'I just want to prepare you,' and he kind of left it at that."

Screenshot 2024-03-15 23.17.39

At that time, relations between Brady and the Patriots had become icier than the Tuck Rule Game despite coming off a sixth collaborative Super Bowl run: neither side could settle whether Brady should've stayed or left as he turned 42. Apparently prepared to take the extremist route, Brady wanted to make sure that Hoyer was prepared for extended duties.

"Watching the show and hearing Tom talk about what he had heard, it sounds like (walking out) was surely the plan," Hoyer said. 

Hoyer recalled there was a day of Patriots practice where he and fourth-round rookie Jarrett Stidham were the only throwers in attendance. A deal for Brady was agreed upon shortly after, one laden with caveats and expenses, and sanity, to the tune of an 8-0 start, seemingly prevailed.

But the Patriots ended the year on a 4-4 note and wound up losing their customary spot among the AFC first-round playoff byes. Postseason heartbreak awaited in the Wild Card round, as not only did the Patriots fall to the Tennessee Titans but Brady's final pass as a New Englander was a desperation heave intercepted by former teammate Logan Ryan. 

All that and more was no longer Hoyer's problem, as he was among the Patriots' final summer cuts. Signed by the Indianapolis Colts, Hoyer kept an eye on New England's affairs affairs from afar with knowledge of the coming storm once the season ended.

"I did not know it was to that extent and like I said, that was cleared up pretty quickly because it was one day where he didn't practice and then the new contract was signed and he was back out there," Hoyer noted. "I left a few weeks later to go to Indianapolis, so I know that was a rough year for him."

"Being a friend, I would watch their games and you could see there was no joy for him."

Hoyer, ironically, wound up returning to New England while Brady was granted his release by the end of the season. Three more seasons, and one more Super Bowl, awaited with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.