SANTA CLARA (AP) — The San Francisco 49ers are reportedly adding a quarterback to the roster, agreeing to a two-year deal with free-agent Brian Hoyer.
The NFL Network said Wednesday that Hoyer has decided to join the Niners where he will have a chance to compete to be the starter next season. The deal can’t be announced until the start of the new league year Thursday.
San Francisco entered its first free-agency period under new coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch with no quarterbacks on the roster after last year’s starter Colin Kaepernick opted out of his deal last week. Backups Blaine Gabbert, Christian Ponder and Thad Lewis are also free agents.
Shanahan will begin his tenure with a familiar quarterback. Hoyer made 13 starts for Cleveland in 2014 when Shanahan was offensive coordinator. Hoyer won seven of those starts and threw for a career-high 3,326 yards that season.
The 31-year-old Hoyer began his career as a backup to Tom Brady for three seasons in New England. He then made his first career start the following season for Arizona, spent two years with the Browns and then one each with Houston and Chicago, where he started five games last season.
His presence allows the Niners to have an experienced quarterback on the roster as a possible bridge if they choose to draft quarterback with either the second overall pick next month or one of their later selections.
For his career, Hoyer has completed 59.5 percent of his passes, averaging 7.2 yards per attempt with 44 touchdowns, 26 interceptions and an 84.8 rating. He has started 31 regular season games and one postseason game for the Texans in 2015 when he threw four interceptions in a 30-0 loss to Kansas City.
With about $100 million in salary cap room and holes throughout the roster following a 2-14 season, the 49ers figure to be one of the busier teams in free agency this year.
They have already been linked by reports to a pair of receivers in Washington’s Pierre Garcon and speedy Buffalo wideout Marquise Goodwin and Pro Bowl fullback Kyle Juszczyk.
Garcon also has ties to Shanahan, who was offensive coordinator in Washington in 2012-13. Garcon had career highs that second season with 113 catches for 1,346 yards.
Garcon is coming off his second career 1,000-yard season, having caught 79 passes for 1,041 yards last season in Washington with three TDs. He dropped just one pass on 80 catchable targets last season, according to Pro Football Focus.
In 132 career games with Washington and Indianapolis, the 30-year-old Garcon has 564 catches for 7,068 yards and 37 touchdowns.
Goodwin, a 2012 Olympian in the long jump, had a career-high 29 catches for 431 yards and three touchdowns last season for the Bills. He has 49 catches for 780 yards and six scores in his career and would provide a deep threat to complement Garcon and leading returning receiver Jeremy Kerley, who had 64 catches last season operating mostly out of the slot.
After playing without a fullback last year under Chip Kelly, the Niners were looking for one this offseason and reportedly got one of the best in Juszczyk, who got a $21 million, four-year deal according to NFL Network.
Juszczyk caught 37 passes last season and is a strong blocker. Juszczyk played 463 snaps last season for Baltimore, more than 100 more than any other fullback in the league.
San Francisco also waived center Marcus Martin on Wednesday. Martin was a third-round pick in 2014 and made 24 starts in three seasons with the Niners.