Brian Hoyer (L), Chad Ochocinco (R)

The New England Patriots had a couple small bits of news I’ve been holding onto waiting to for Bill Belichick to find more discount free agent coupons.  But like in my house someone else must have grabbed any new ones that have come in recently.

The Patriots announced that back up quarterback Brian Hoyer will return in 2012 as the restricted free agent after signing his RFA Tender.  The second round tender is worth $1.92 million, not bad money for a second stringer.  If Hoyer had signed with another team and the Patriots decided not to match the contract offer to keep Hoyer they would have gotten a second round pick for him.

Hoyer didn’t appear to receiver any interest, at least nothing any teams or his agent made public.  This was kind of surprising seeing as he is quite possibly the second best quarterback in the AFC East.

It was expected that Hoyer would generate some interest but that was before Robert Griffin III upgraded his draft position, Peyton Manning got released by the Colts and went on a free agency tour and Tim Tebow got traded.  Maybe the second round pick was too high for anyone who may have had some interest in Hoyer.  After the 2012 season he will become an unrestricted free agent like former Packers QB Matt Flynn was this year and he will likely be in line for a Flynn-like contract from some quarterback poor team.

In other news, wide receiver Chad Ochocinco, soon to be re-named Chad Johnson, has restructured his contract for 2012.  Instead of the $3 million he was to earn from New England he will now make $1 million.

Ochocinco’s restructure is much different from the Tom Brady restructure that was revealed last week.  Brady moved salary around to help with cap space and took the money as a signing bonus spread out over three seasons.  Ochocinco gave up $2 million.

He stated he wants to win and to do it in New England and he took a 66% pay cut in order to remain a Patriot.  We all know how much Chad loves being here, playing with Brady and for Belichick.  We also know how they feel about Chad.  It’s a mutual admiration society and for some unknown reason I just can’t figure out why he was used the way he was last season.

There was lots of speculation he didn’t know the plays but I am not so sure that I buy into that theory.   Belichick has shown absolutely zero patience in the past for players who can’t hack the system.  Joey Galloway comes to mind, as do a few defensive guys who were dumb as a box of rocks.  So if Ochocinco didn’t grasp the playbook why would Belichick keep him?

I am a huge fan of Chad the football player.  I’ve seen things he does on the field and every week I hoped we would see that in 2011 and for whatever the reason we did not. Hopefully in 2012 we will find out why he hung around.

Follow Steve on Twitter @SteveMichaelsII

Photo credits: Getty Images, Getty Images