<
>

Bears should pursue Brian Hoyer if he remains unsigned

Expect the Bears to keep close tabs on veteran free-agent quarterback Brian Hoyer, who visited the New York Jets on Tuesday after the Houston Texans released him over the weekend.

Hoyer also is scheduled to visit the Denver Broncos.

The Bears are a logical suitor, particularly since the only two backup quarterbacks behind Jay Cutler on the offseason roster -- David Fales and Matt Blanchard -- have yet to take a regular-season snap.

Plus, Hoyer has an existing connection to the Bears.

An eight-year NFL veteran, Hoyer spent 2014 in Cleveland working alongside Bears offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains, who served as the Browns' quarterbacks coach for one season. Hoyer had mixed results in 14 games that year, passing for 3,326 yards, 12 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.

As a member of the Texans in 2015, Hoyer put up respectable regular-season numbers (2,606 passing yards, 19 touchdowns and seven interceptions) but bombed in Houston’s AFC wild-card playoff loss to Kansas City.

While Hoyer’s ability to start full-time is questionable, the value he would provide in a No. 2 role is clear. Hoyer would instantly become one of the NFL’s best backup quarterbacks if -- emphasis on "if" -- he joins a roster that already has a proven No. 1 in place.

Hoyer has been universally praised by teammates and coaches for his attitude, leadership and personality. Loggains no doubt had a positive experience coaching Hoyer in 2014.

And if they also want a developmental quarterback, the Bears can still use one of their nine draft picks to select one.

Since the Bears so clearly need a reserve quarterback, it makes sense for them to investigate the veteran Hoyer, if for whatever reason his flirtation with New York falls through.