FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Colt McCoy outplayed Brian Hoyer in a scrimmage of backup quarterbacks, while Tom Brady and Alex Smith stayed on the sidelines counting their money.

On the day that the Patriots reportedly sweetened Brady’s contract with $5 million in incentives, the reigning NFL MVP sat out the team’s exhibition season opener.

So did his Washington counterpart, Smith, who was traded to Washington in the offseason and received a four-year, $94 million extension.

In their place, McCoy completed 13 of 18 passes for 189 yards and two touchdowns as Washington opened a 17-0 lead in the first half. Hoyer struggled against the Washington starters, but drove New England to a pair of second-half touchdowns, including Ralph Webb’s 8-yard run for a score followed by the catch on a 2-point conversion that gave New England its first lead en route to a 26-17 victory in the exhibition season opener on Thursday night.

Webb also added a 1-yard score that made it 26-17 after Trent Harris strip-sacked Washington third-stringer Kevin Hogan and Geneo Grissom recovered and ran 53 yards before he was brought down near the goal line.

ESPN reported before the game that the Patriots would add $5 million in incentives to Brady’s contract, bringing the 41-year-old, five-time Super Bowl champion closer in pay to less accomplished quarterbacks around the league – such as Smith. Brady’s contract was due to pay him about $15 million this year; his agent, Don Yee, did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

The Patriots’ offense, which was also without tight end Rob Gronkowski, did little until back-to-back 20-plus yard catches by Devin Lucien set up Stephen Gostkowski’s 52-yard field goal just before halftime. Mike Gillislee ran seven times for 31 yards on a drive that set up Jeremy Hill’s 1-yard run.

Webb made it 18-17 with nine minutes left in the game and added an insurance score with 3:27 to play. Dustin Hopkins, who kicked a 52-yard field goal at the end of the first quarter, banged a 56-yarder off the left upright just inside the two-minute warning.

Third-stringer Danny Etling, a seventh-round draft pick, was 1 of 3 for 18 yards, with a fumble for New England. Hogan completed 7 of 9 passes for 44 yards, but also fumbled for Washington.

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