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Brian Hoyer poised for $2M bump in pay

BEREA, Ohio -- Quarterback Brian Hoyer is not making NFL starter's money -- at least not yet -- but cementing the Browns job for the entire 2014 season would earn him a hearty bump that would go nicely under his Christmas tree.

According to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Caplan, the six-year pro has an escalator in his contract once he hits a snap threshold.

Here's more from Caplan:

Hoyer will earn an additional $2.05 million this season if he handles at least 70 percent of the offensive snaps, a league source told ESPN.

Hoyer has taken all but five of the offensive snaps (684 out of 689) through the team's first 10 games. Rookie QB Johnny Manziel handled the other snaps.

If Hoyer handles all of the offensive snaps on the road this week against the Atlanta Falcons and just a minimal amount during next Sunday's game against the host Buffalo Bills, he'll hit the 70 percent number.

In addition to his $1 million base salary, Hoyer earned a $250,000 roster bonus, which brings his total compensation to $1.25 million. Because he was on the opening day roster, Hoyer's base salary, as a vested veteran, became fully guaranteed.

This doesn't push Hoyer into starters-money category, but it gets him closer to a high-end backup clip. Neither amount will deter him from trying to get much more as a free agent in March, perhaps forcing the Browns to decide between a reliable starter or first-round pick Johnny Manziel.

Maybe the Browns will strike a comfortable bridge deal that compensates Hoyer but still keeps hope alive for Manziel as a long-term option. There's always the franchise tag, worth around $18 million for quarterbacks.

Until that decision, Hoyer gets a little extra cash to spend.