Brian Hoyer has a glamorous job (NFL quarterback) and an enviable income (he’s guaranteed $7 million in 2017).

Still, the poor guy.

Hoyer, 31, is the unquestioned starter as the 49ers begin their rebuilding project, but only his relatives think he’ll have the same role next season.

The consensus view: Hoyer can probably be trusted to keep the seat warm in 2017 — the 49ers certainly aren’t going to the playoffs, after all — but he has a hard expiration date (January 2018).

Yes, much like Steve DeBerg was Bill Walsh’s first starting quarterback, Hoyer will be Kyle Shanahan’s … until the 49ers try to upgrade from Ford to Ferrari next the spring. Perhaps you’ve heard: Shanahan likes Washington’s Kirk Cousins, who is playing on a one-year franchise tag, and the 49ers could have a premium pick in what’s expected to be a QB-rich 2018 draft.

Hoyer signed a two-year deal in March, but the 49ers can release him with few financial ramifications after this season. The situation has inspired several questions about his seemingly temp-job status, and Hoyer fielded the latest Thursday.

“All I can do is play this season,” Hoyer said. “That’s what we have in front of us: the 2017 season. And I know from being in this league it’s about what have you done lately? So one whole year can change a lot of aspects on how people think about things.”

Many think Hoyer isn’t a long-term solution based on his nomadic career. Teams generally ensure capable quarterbacks remain on their roster, but Hoyer is on the seventh team of his nine-year career, and his fourth in the past four seasons.

When asked about his best qualities during the offseason, his teammates have generally noted his smarts, fire and leadership, instead of physical ability. Part of the 49ers’ attraction to Hoyer was his familiarity with Shanahan’s complex system. In 2014, Hoyer started 13 games for the Browns, and Shanahan was his offensive coordinator.

“He’s very, very competitive,” left tackle Joe Staley said. “He’s one of the most competitive people I’ve been around … And having been in Shanahan’s system, his overall knowledge of what we’re trying to do was very helpful to a lot of the guys as we were coming along in the offseason.”

Said fullback Kyle Juszczyk: “Brian’s got leadership; a lot of poise. … He’s someone that’s easy to talk to.”

On Saturday, wide receiver Pierre Garcon was asked if any of Hoyer’s physical ability had stood out since he signed with the 49ers in March. Garcon didn’t stay on task for too long.

“Before I got here, I didn’t know he could throw the ball that far … I didn’t know his arm was that strong,” Garcon said. “He’s definitely a great communicator. He likes to talk to guys after plays and get feedback. Those are the two things that’s stood out to me most.”

Of course, Hoyer’s intangibles aren’t irrelevant, particularly at the quarterback position. He’s well respected by his teammates, 15 of whom joined him in Dallas earlier this month for three days of practices Hoyer organized to build chemistry and camaraderie.

And it’s worth noting that he’s a vast improvement over Blaine Gabbert, the 49ers’ season-opening starter last year. In 2014, Hoyer led the NFL in yards per completion (13.7). Over the past two seasons, during which he’s made 14 starts and thrown 569 regular-season passes, he’s had 25 touchdown throws, seven interceptions and posted a 93.7 passer rating.

Those are solid numbers, but they don’t include this: Hoyer also recently had his worst numbers in the biggest game of his career.

In January 2016, in the Texans’ 30-0 home wild-card loss to the Chiefs, Hoyer’s only playoff start was a nightmare: He threw a career-high four interceptions and put up the worst passer rating of his career (15.9). The Texans released Hoyer three months later, convinced he wasn’t their answer, and he’s now hoping to prove to his latest team that he’s far more than a seat-warmer.

Few are expecting much more than serviceable play from Hoyer, and general manager John Lynch senses the lack of respect is providing motivation: The poor guy wants to show he’s The Guy.

“I think he’s using it as fuel,” Lynch said on KNBR. “The conversations he and I have had is, ‘What a tremendous opportunity.’ And that’s the way he’s looking at it. And here’s his opportunity to say, ‘Hey, you don’t need to look any further. I’m your guy.’”

Eric Branch is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: Twitter: @Eric_Branch

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