Patriots sign Brian Hoyer to 3-year deal to be Tom Brady’s backup

In what's been a de facto quarterback swap, the Patriots have signed QB Brian Hoyer to a reported three-year deal after dealing Jimmy Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers for a 2018 second-round pick before Tuesday's trade deadline.

Hoyer was released by the Niners after the Garoppolo trade and started six games for the team before he was replaced by rookie C.J. Beathard. San Francisco went 0-6 with Hoyer as their starter.

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Jimmy Garoppolo through his career
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Jimmy Garoppolo through his career
FOXBORO, MA - AUGUST 22: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the New England Patriots smiles after defeating the Carolina Panthers in a preseason game at Gillette Stadium on August 22, 2014 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 22: Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo talks to the media in the Patriots locker room before practice on January 22, 2015. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 28: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the New England Patriots passes the ball during the fourth quarter against the Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium on December 28, 2014 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
ORCHARD PARK, NY - OCTOBER 12: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the New England Patriots warms up before the first half against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium on October 12, 2014 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
BOSTON - FEBRUARY 4: Patriots quarterbacks Jimmy Garoppolo, left, and Tom Brady, right, enjoy the Patriots Super Bowl victory parade with Brady's son, Benjamin, from atop a duck boat. (Photo by David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 21: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the New England Patriots smiles during pre-game before playing the Oakland Raiders at Gillette Stadium on September 21, 2014 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JULY 30: The Patriots camp training camp was held at the practice field next to Gillette Stadium. Jimmy Garoppolo throws a pass. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
FAIRHOPE, AL - JANUARY 20: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the South team participates in drills during a Senior Bowl practice session at Fairhope Stadium on January 20, 2014 in Fairhope, Alabama. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 21: Former Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo speaks to the media during the 2014 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 21, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 16: Jimmy Garoppolo of the Eastern Illinois Panthers speaks during the Sports Network's 27th Annual FCS Awards Presentation at the Sheraton Society Hill on December 16, 2013 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Aug 22, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) against the New Orleans Saints during the first quarter of a preseason game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
FOXBOROUGH, MA - SEPTEMBER 14: New England Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo talks with the media about his first win as a starting quarterback at practice at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., on Sept. 14, 2016. (Photo by Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 18: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the New England Patriots communicates at the line of scrimmage during the first half against the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium on September 18, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
ORCHARD PARK, NY - OCTOBER 30: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 and Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots warms up before the game against the Buffalo Bills on October 30, 2016 at New Era Field in Orchard Park, New York. New England defeats Buffalo 41-25. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JANUARY 01: New England Patriots Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) warms up on the field before the start of the NFL football game between the New England Patriots and the Miami Dolphins on January 1, 2017, at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, FL. (Photo by Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 01: New England Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) answers questions from the media during the New England Patriots Press Conference on February 02, 2017, at the JW Marriott Galleria, in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 05: (L-R) Jimmy Garoppolo #10, Tom Brady #12 and Jacoby Brissett #7 of the New England Patriots run on the field prior to Super Bowl 51 against the Atlanta Falcons at NRG Stadium on February 5, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 07: Quarterbacks Jacoby Brissett and Jimmy Garoppolo of the New England Patriots during the Victory Parade through the streets of Boston on February 7, 2017, in Boston, Massachusetts to celebrate winning Super Bowl LI. (Photo by Richard Cashin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
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It's an expected move for New England, which had no other quarterbacks on their roster after the trade and was willing to welcome back a familiar face. Hoyer began his career as Tom Brady's backup after signing with the Patriots as an undrafted free agent following before the 2009 season. He played in just 13 games during his 2009-2011 stint with the team before jumping around the league to teams like Pittsburgh, Arizona, Cleveland, Houston, Chicago and San Francisco.

Although Hoyer previously wore No. 8 with the Patriots, the team announced he’ll sport No. 2.

"We probably had, in my opinion, the best quarterback situation in the league for the last — let's call it two-and-a-half years — it's just not sustainable given the way that things are set up," Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said Tuesday after letting Garoppolo go.

Brady, 40, is still in great shape as the Patriots’ lead QB, and it’s uncertain how many more years he will continue to take snaps under center.

The Patriots’ signing Hoyer gives Brady a chance to play into his 40s and contend for more championships with a veteran back-up as his safety net.

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Top-selling NFL jerseys over 2017 NFL offseason
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Top-selling NFL jerseys over 2017 NFL offseason

25. Cam Newton

(Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)

24. Drew Brees

(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

23. Ben Roethlisberger

(Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

22. Matt Ryan

(Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

21. Russell Wilson

(Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

20. Landon Collins

(Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

19. James Conner

(Photo by Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

18. Jason Witten

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

17. Dez Bryant

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

16. Von Miller

(Photo by Joe Amon/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

15. Julian Edelman

(Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

14. Deshaun Watson

(Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

13. Julio Jones

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

12. Matthew Stafford

(Photo by Steven King/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

11. Rob Gronkowski

(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

10. Antonio Brown

(Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

9. Khalil Mack

(Photo by Stephen Hopson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

8. Aaron Rodgers

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

7. Carson Wentz

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

6. Odell Beckham Jr. 

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

5. Derek Carr

(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

4. Ezekiel Elliott

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

3. Dak Prescott

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

2. Marshawn Lynch

(Photo by Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/Getty Images)

1. Tom Brady

(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

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