Second-round tender for Hoyer

As expected, restricted free-agent quarterback Brian Hoyer has received a second-round tender from the Patriots, according to a source.

The $1.92 million tender means that another team can sign Hoyer to an offer sheet. If the Patriots don't match the offer, then they would receive a second-round pick for Hoyer.

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).

Second-year quarterback Ryan Mallett is being developed to possibly take over that No. 2 role when Hoyer ultimately departs.

Entering his fourth NFL season, Hoyer (6-2, 215) has been Tom Brady's top backup since entering the league as a rookie free agent out of Michigan State in 2009. He has appeared in 13 games, often near the end of the fourth quarter, and is 27 of 43 for 286 yards and 1 touchdown and 1 interception. His most extended playing time came in season finales in 2009 (Houston) and 2010 (Miami).

If Hoyer has a strong preseason, or is thrust into unexpected duty during the regular season and performs well, he could position himself to be a desirable asset to quarterback-needy teams.