Brian Hoyer has been signed by the New England Patriots for the third time. Mark Zaleski/Associated Press

BOSTON — Brian Hoyer is returning to the Patriots for a third time, while the franchise’s all-time leading scorer, Stephen Gostkowski, is on his way out.

Hoyer has agreed to a one-year deal worth $1.05 million. The veteran quarterback was released by Indianapolis on Saturday.

In Hoyer, the Patriots add a veteran quarterback who is familiar with their system. It is their first move to add some depth at the quarterback position since Tom Brady left in free agency and signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The 34-year-old began his career as Brady’s backup in New England in 2009 and has spent time with seven NFL teams during his 11-year career. He has played in 69 games with 38 starts and has completed 873 of 1,477 passes for 10,274 yards with 52 touchdowns and 34 interceptions.

His second stint with the Patriots began in 2017 after he was released by San Francisco following its acquisition of Jimmy Garoppolo in a trade with New England.

Hoyer again served as Brady’s backup in 2018 before being beaten out for that role by Jarrett Stidham during the 2019 preseason. He was cut by the Patriots and signed by the Colts, appearing in four games with one start last season.

Hoyer becomes the third quarterback on New England’s roster, joining Stidham and Cody Kessler, who ended the season on the practice squad.

GOSTKOWSKI RELEASED

The Patriots said goodbye Monday to another longtime staple of their two-decade run of championships, releasing kicker and franchise leading scorer Stephen Gostkowski.

The three-time Super Bowl champion has spent his entire 14-year career in New England.

Drafted in 2006, Gostkowski has long passed Adam Vinatieri as the Patriots’ leading scorer with 1,775 points. Only Tom Brady (41), Vinatieri (32) and Jerry Rice (29) have played in more playoff games. His 205 postseason points are second to the 238 points by Vinatieri.

The 36-year-old Gostkowski started the first four games of 2019 but struggled, missing a career-high four extra points after not missing more than three in any of his previous 13 NFL seasons. He was placed on injured reserve in October and underwent season-ending hip surgery.

Viniatieri cemented his place in New England history by kicking two winning field goals in the Super Bowl before leaving for the Indianapolis Colts as a free agent in 2006.

Gostkowski did the same with his consistency, becoming one of the NFL’s most dependable kickers during his Patriots tenure. A two-time All-Pro, he missed only one extra point in his first 10 years in the league and appeared in every game for New England from 2011 through 2018.

His six Super Bowl appearances are tied for second behind Brady.

Gostkowski ends his Patriots tenure having made 87.4% (374 of 428) of his field-goal attempts.

Veteran Nick Folk ended last season as New England’s kicker, but is currently a free agent.


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