Bill Belichick's reasoning for wanting Brian Hoyer as his team's backup for 2017? Pretty simple.

"We've had him," Belichick said during a conference call on Monday morning.

The Patriots and Hoyer worked together for three-plus years between his rookie season in 2009 and 2012, when he was released just before the start of the regular season. That relatively brief marriage still provides more than enough in terms of background for Belichick and his staff to understand how Hoyer will work once inside the Gillette Stadium walls.

It's not just that Hoyer understands the Patriots system, which is significant, obviously. But it's that there aren't the same number of unknowns involved with Hoyer that there might be with another player brought in off the street. The Patriots know what he can handle and how he'll fit into the locker room. What he's done in the five-plus years since leaving New England did nothing to turn them off to bringing him back. 

"We knew what he could do," Belichick said. "He's been productive. He's been in a lot of big games and big situations so . . . just try to get him ready to go."

This season, as a member of the 49ers, Hoyer completed 119 of 205 attempts (58 percent) for 1,245 yards, four touchdowns and four interceptions. For his career, the 32-year-old carries a 59.3 completion percentage and he's thrown 48 touchdowns against 30 picks.