The Jets and Houston Texans are thought to be the frontrunners for Hoyer, who is looking for a team that will give him an opportunity to start. Both teams have unsettled quarterback situations. Smith, only 11-18 as a starter, hasn't received a public vote of confidence from the Jets' new hierarchy. The Texans have Ryan Mallett (a free agent) and veteran journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick, neither of whom is a sure thing.
The Texans have said they'd like to re-sign Mallett, so it's possible their interest in Hoyer is a leverage play. It has some merit, however, because Bill O'Brien coached Hoyer when he was an assistant with the New England Patriots -- Mallett, too. It's unlikely they'd sign both.
After beating out Johnny Manziel last summer in a ballyhooed competition, Hoyer led the Browns to a 6-3 start. His season did a 180, as he threw eight interceptions over his next four starts -- three losses. He was benched in favor of Manziel.
Hoyer became expendable when the Browns recently signed Josh McCown to a three-year, $14 million contract. Hoyer isn't the most talented guy around, but he's smart and wasn't known as a high-turnover quarterback until his late-season slump. He's career record is 10-7, with a 76.8 passer rating.
It's a weak quarterback market. Aside from Hoyer, the top free-agent options are Jake Locker (Tennessee Titans) and Matt Moore (Miami Dolphins). Todd Bowles, a former Dolphins assistant, is familiar with Moore.
He wasn't a consideration for the Jets, but their former starter, Mark Sanchez, will reportedly re-sign with the Philadelphia Eagles -- a two-year deal with a $5.5 million guarantee. If the Eagles trade up for Marcus Mariota in the draft, as many suspect they will try to do, it could make Nick Foles expendable. That could be food for thought for the Jets, who could be in position to draft Mariota and might ponder a trade down.
The other compelling storyline from Day 2 of the "legal tampering period" is the rapidly diminishing cornerback market. Byron Maxwell, Brandon Flowers and Kareem Jackson are reportedly off the market, putting the corner-needy Jets in a tough spot.
Darrelle Revis to the rescue? Don't bet on it. Oh, yes, the Jets could use their old friend, but it would be a surprise if he gets away from the Patriots. He could be using the Jets' perceived interest to drive up the Patriots' offer.