CLEVELAND (AP) — Brian
Hoyer's precarious grip on the Browns' starting job — and rookie Johnny
Manziel's presence — makes it tough to negotiate a new contract for the
His agent thinks it will happen anyway.
who is coming back after undergoing offseason right knee surgery, will
enter training camp with the lead in his competition with Manziel. But
until the Browns are convinced Hoyer is healthy, and providing he holds
off Manziel, it's difficult for the team to gauge his value. Agent Joe
Linta said the sides have had some preliminary discussions, but it may
be some time before they get serious about negotiations.
had a couple of friendly conversations," Linta said in an email to The
Associated Press on Tuesday. "They agreed that it's very difficult to
assess his worth presently. I think that this will all work itself
quickly as the season moves forward."
Hoyer went 3-0 as a starter
last season before tearing his anterior cruciate ligament while sliding
at the end of a scramble. He recovered more quickly than doctors
expected and he moved well during practices in the team's mini-camp this
spring. Hoyer was kept out of 11-on-11 drills to avoid contact, but
he's expected to be fully cleared when training camp opens on July 26.
Browns coach Mike Pettine recently said Hoyer had the lead in the
quarterback competition over Manziel, who was selected in the first
round of May's NFL draft. Manziel could one day supplant Hoyer as
Cleveland's starter, but that's not guaranteed, so it's difficult for
the team to decide whether they should pay Hoyer like a starter or a
After all, Hoyer had been a career backup before the
Cleveland-area native signed a signed a two-year, $1,965,000 contract
with the Browns in May 2013. He received a $250,000 roster bonus in
March and is scheduled to make a base salary of $1 million next season.
The deal can reach $1.15 million with incentives.
Hoyer has waited patiently for his chance to start. He's paid his dues.
He also has impressed the Browns with his determination to return to the
Linta said Hoyer is committed to the Browns, and he's hoping they feel the same way about him.
wants to be in Cleveland," Linta said. "He loves how the fans rallied
around him and the team during his winning streak last year. He'll never
forget that. With that in mind and if the Browns want him, we will work
something out eventually. (General manager) Ray Farmer and (executive
VP) Sashi Brown are good guys to deal with and they, like the fans, want
to win regardless of who the QB is."
Farmer did not reply to an email seeking comment.