Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune answers your questions. And mine:
“Mike Glennon seems to be getting lost in the midst of all of the [Jimmy] Garoppolo love. What are the odds the Bears go in his direction? — @bearingthenews
“Glennon is going to be an unrestricted free agent and there will no doubt be some interest in him. Will the Bears go in his direction? I don’t know about that. But I do know the Bears cannot reach the opening of free agency without having thoroughly evaluated every single quarterback that could potentially be available. There seems to be more love for Glennon now than there ever was when he was starting for the Buccaneers. He last took a meaningful snap in the 2014 season before the Bucs acquired Jameis Winston with the No. 1 overall pick. Glennon has started 18 games in his career so there is a lot more tape to evaluate than there is with Garoppolo. Glennon has completed 374 of 630 passes (59.4 percent) for 4,100 yards, 30 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. The 27-year-old was has been sacked 56 times and at 6-foot-6, 225 pounds, and he’s not particularly mobile. He’s going to have a chance to play for someone but most of the scouts I talk to are lukewarm on him. He’s a little robotic and I tend to believe the buzz surrounding Glennon is partially a result of skepticism people have for the crop of quarterbacks in this draft class. No one can say with certainty that there is a big-time franchise quarterback on the horizon.”
I wrote this question in early February and it was published on February 9. It was motivated by the fact that for the two previous offseasons, speculation about whether the Bucs would trade Glennon was an annual rite of spring. He was behind Winston on the depth chart and, as Biggs said, given the supply and demand for quarterbacks, he was seen as a young, viable prospect that at least some teams evidently felt could still be developed. Since then, Biggs has reported that the Bears have interest in signing Glennon in free agency and it really came as no surprise to me. Despite the lukewarm feeling you get from Biggs’s response to the question, there’s a lot there to like about him.
The Bears are reportedly very interested in the intangibles when it comes to determining their future at quarterback. In this respect, Glennon is hard to judge. He was known as a calm, collected leader who had the respect of his teammates when he came out of North Carolina. Not a red flag but not really a strength, either.
Having said that, I went back and looked at some of the tape of Glennon with the Buccaneers in 2013. He’s a big, tall player at 6’7” and throws the ball on a rope with a really big arm. Furthermore, he’s accurate and, as the statistics indicate, he takes care of the ball, throwing it with anticipation but usually only where the receiver can catch it.
That last aspect of his game, the ability to protect the football, cannot be understated. Everyone once in a while, a Bears fan will write in to express his or her love of Matt Barkley. I can state with surety that you can forget about the Bears ever re-signing him. Last season, Barkley threw 3 interceptions against the Packers in week 15. Knowing that he needed to improve that aspect of his game and not let it happen again, he came back the next week and threw 5 against the Redskins. He followed that with 2 more in just over 3 quarters of play against the Vikings in week 17. At that point, Barkley’s future with the team was sealed and the Bears had to know that he was a hopeless case.
John Fox is a defensive head coach. He can live with mediocre quarterback play such as that which Brain Hoyer displayed in relief of Jay Cutler last year. But he absolutely cannot have a turnover machine at the position. Whether its Barkley or Cutler, who is all but gone, no one will be playing quarterback for the Bears unless he can protect the football. Glennon does that.
As Biggs points out, Glennon is a statue in the pocket and that’s probably the biggest reason why the Buccaneers felt that they had to draft Winston. But I’m not so sure that means that Glennon should simply be classified as a “bridge quarterback” on the way to something better should the Bears sign him. My gut tells me that there’s a lot to work with there. The Bears probably have a better offensive line than the Bucs did, particularly up the middle, and they may do a better job of protecting a less mobile quarterback. Furthermore, the work that Dowell Loggains did with Hoyer and particularly Connor Shaw last year before injuries derailed them seems to have convinced the Bears that he might get more out of a guy like Glennon than the Buccaneers did.
Even if the Bears sign Glennon, they still have to draft a quarterback. They have to reverse the trend that they’ve established in recent years by starting to take swings at the position and drafting real potential starters in the first three rounds.
But based upon what I’ve seen of Glennon, if they can get him to step up, shuffle his feet and move around just a bit more inside the pocket, the Bears might surprise some media and fans locally by getting more than is generally expected from him. I’m not at all convinced that Glennon doesn’t still have a future as a very good NFL starter and if the Bears sign him, you can bet that they probably see what I see. That along with the potential development of Shaw and a good, solid draft pick could quickly put them in a good spot at a position that up until now has been a neglected, barren wasteland for the franchise.