FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Patriots announced today the signing of 2021 sixth-round draft pick S Joshuah Bledsoe and veteran QB Brian Hoyer. Terms of the contracts were not announced. Hoyer previously played for the Patriots in three different stints (2009-11, 2017-18 and 2020). In addition, the Patriots released OL Najee Toran.
Bledsoe, 22, was selected by the Patriots in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL Draft with the 188th overall selection out of Missouri. The 5-foot-11, 201-pounder played in 46 collegiate games and finished with 131 tackles, 19 passes defensed and one interception. Last season, he played in all 10 games and finished with 41 tackles, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, one interception and six passes defensed.
Hoyer, 35, originally joined the Patriots as a rookie free agent out of Michigan State in 2009. The 6-foot-2, 216-pounder is a veteran of 12 NFL seasons and has spent time with Arizona (2012), Pittsburgh (2012), Cleveland (2013-14), Houston (2015), Chicago (2016), San Francisco (2017) and Indianapolis (2019), in addition to New England. He went to training camp with the Patriots in 2019 and was released on Aug. 31, before being signed by Indianapolis on Sept. 2. He was re-signed by New England on March 25, 2020 and spent the entire season with the team. Hoyer served as the backup quarterback for three games and was inactive for 12 games. He started against the Chiefs in Kansas City on Oct. 5 and completed 15-of-24 passes for 130 yards and one interception. With that start against the Chiefs, Hoyer joined Ryan Fitzpatrick, Chris Chandler and Gus Frerotte as the only NFL quarterbacks to make at least one start for seven different teams. He has made starts for the Patriots, Cardinals, Browns, Texans, Bears, 49ers and Colts.
Overall, Hoyer has played in 70 career regular season games with 39 starts and has completed 888-of-1,501 passes for 10,404 yards with 52 touchdowns and 35 interceptions. He has also played in two postseason contests with one start and completed 15-of-34 pass attempts with no touchdowns and four interceptions. Hoyer has made 24 appearances with one start for New England in the regular season and has completed 47-of-75 pass attempts for 465 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.
Toran, 25, originally entered the NFL as a rookie free agent with San Francisco out of UCLA on May 1, 2018. The 6-foot-2, 305-pounder spent the majority of his rookie campaign on the 49ers practice squad and was released by San Francisco prior to the start of the 2019 regular season. Toran was signed by New England to the practice squad on Sept. 2, 2019, where he spent the remainder of the season. He exercised his Reserve/Opt-Out decision in 2020 and did not play last season.