By KYLE HIGHTOWER
AP Sports Writer
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — The Patriots have opened the unofficial start of free agency by bringing back veteran backup quarterback Brian Hoyer and safety Devin McCourty. Hoyer’s agency says via Twitter he has agreed to a two-year deal to remain in New England. McCourty also confirmed via social media he’ll be back for his 13th season on a one-year deal. A person with knowledge of the agreement tells The Associated Press that Hoyer’s deal includes $3 million guaranteed and can be worth as much as $4 million. McCourty’s new pact is for $9 million, according to another person with knowledge of that pending deal. Both people spoke on condition of anonymity because the deals can’t be officially signed until the start of the new league year.