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Could Brian Hoyer ever be more than a stopgap for the 49ers?

Hoyer is the guy until he’s not the guy. How long will that be, exactly?

Brian Hoyer is the starter going into the 2017-18 season for the San Francisco 49ers, but is there actually any reason to believe he will have a job past then?

Hoyer, a journeymen who had his best season under Kyle Shanahan with the Cleveland Browns, has had multiple opportunities to start around the league and has only shown flashes of high-level play. Mostly, he’s struggled for consistency and has been an average to below-average starter at best.

He fits the bill of a stopgap solution, and that’s what everyone says is going to happen. Kirk Cousins continues to be the talk of 49ers fans and analysts, and there is always the looming prospect of drafting a quarterback high. Plus there’s the C.J. Beathard hype train to consider, though this is a long way off from arriving at the station.

The most likely scenario has the 49ers moving on after 2017. But I was wondering if anybody here thinks otherwise. Are there any true Hoyer believers around here, and if so, why?

Mark has written some very nice pieces about Hoyer’s time in Shanahan’s offense. He first wrote about Hoyer’s play-action success in Cleveland, and then wrote about how that success turned to failure. Some of it was likely Hoyer’s own skill ceiling, but a lot of it was a rush of issues at the center position and a dramatic increase in sacks allowed.

But there are a handful of games where things ran splendidly. The Browns certainly weren’t bursting at the seams with talent at other positions to explain Hoyer’s strong play. If it wasn’t Hoyer, then it was Shanahan’s offense, which is a plus for the 49ers given he’s their new head coach.

John Lynch has suggested he wants Hoyer to step up and take advantage of his opportunity this season. Some analysts are predicting a decent amount of yardage for him. Shanahan seems poised to fire off the big guns right away. Is he more than a stopgap? Could he be?