This sentence probably tells you all you need to know about the quarterback position in free agency nowadays: Mike Glennon is one of the hottest names on the free agent market.
If it doesn’t do the market justice on its face, we will explain.
Glennon was a third-round pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2013, drafted 73rd overall. As a rookie, he was thrust into the starting role for 13 games, completing just under 60% of his passes with the following stat line:
247-416, 2608 yards (6.3 Y/A), 19 TDs, 9 INTs, 40 sacks
Following that less-than-impressive debut, the Buccaneers signed Josh McCown away from the Bears, making the veteran the starter. Glennon played in six games and started five in 2014 while McCown missed time. He was so inspiring to the Tampa brass that they went out and drafted a quarterback number one overall in 2015: Jameis Winston.
Now Glennon’s rookie contract is over, and his situation looks much like Brock Osweiler’s did last offseason with one caveat — Osweiler had played much more in the season prior to his free agency than Glennon did. Still, the two have relatively similar numbers in the games that they have started, and Osweiler cashed in last offseason with a four-year deal worth an average of $18 million per season.
Glennon is now looking for a new home, and he may have already found one in the Chicago Bears, who are expected to jettison Jay Cutler and look for a new quarterback. Reports over the last few days are swirling that the Bears are prepared to pay handsomely for Glennon, and that Chicago is his preferred destination as well. In fact, some media reports include phrases like “strong push” and “front-runner” when discussing the Bears’ interest in Glennon. Meanwhile, reports on the dollar value of a potential Glennon contract are hovering around the $15 million per year mark, just a bit shy of what Osweiler got this time last year.
This says more about the desperation that NFL teams feel to find a quarterback and the value of the quarterback position than it says about Glennon himself. A team — Chicago, apparently — very possibly does view him as a franchise quarterback, and if it does, that $15 million average would only make him about the 24th-highest-paid quarterback in the league.
It’s a crazy situation, but the Bears could end up trading out a $14 million cap hit on Jay Cutler in 2017 for something around $15 million for Glennon. To this writer, at least, that seems like a lateral move at best, and one that does not do anything to significantly improve the team. However, that would give them the ability to draft a quarterback in round one and let him develop for a time, with the hope of him becoming a starter in a year or two.