Yesterday, a report dropped that the Bears could be among the teams pursuing free agent quarterback Mike Glennon, and today Brad Biggs reports that it’s even more serious than that.
At the Tribune, Biggs writes that, “Indications are that Glennon will be the Bears’ top target to replace Jay Cutler, potentially pairing the veteran with a draft pick.”
Glennon, 27, has been backing up Jameis Winston in Tampa Bay for the past two years, but did post solid numbers in 2013 and 2014 when given the opportunity to start. In a paper thin quarterback market, Glennon is probably the best available free agent option. There’s not a dead-bang-obvious day-one starter in the draft, either.
But is Glennon the right option for the Bears?
Although most recognize that Glennon can probably be a perfectly adequate starter in the league, few are ready to suggest that he’s the kind of franchise quarterback around whom a team can build for the next five or six years. And if the Bears are viewing Glennon as a bridge to pair with a draft pick who will be developed, then might simply hanging onto Brian Hoyer be just as attractive? As Jeff Dickerson points out, Hoyer already knows the Bears’ offense and coaching staff, and has demonstrated the ability to be the kind of veteran bridge quarterback the Bears may well be seeking.
That is to say, unless the Bears’ scouts and front office believe Glennon has untapped upside, it’s hard to justify committing significant dollars to him at this time rather than making a more modest investment in Hoyer, 31, and surrounding him with a little more talent. Developing a quarterback behind Hoyer may also be a smoother process than doing so behind a 27-year-old who just received a sizable free agent contract.
But, then, maybe the Bears do believe Glennon can be a front-line starter in the long-term after the flashes he showed as a youngster? The possibility shouldn’t be excluded entirely, especially if Glennon really is the Bears’ “top target” right now. (For what it’s worth, the Bucs didn’t necessarily believe Glennon was a future front-line starter even when he was having success, replacing Glennon at times throughout his sophomore season, and then drafting Winston 1-1 the next year.)
Jason Cole reports that the Bucs made Glennon a healthy $8 million-per-year offer to stay on as the league’s highest-paid backup, which speaks to their belief in him. Glennon will, of course, get a good bit more than that in free agency to start somewhere, perhaps more than $10 million annually. The Bears are not expected to be the only interested teams, as Cole also mentions the Jets, the Steelers (as a backup), and another unidentified team.
It remains important to take these whispers with a grain of salt this time of year, as it’s not hard to imagine that the Bears would have an interest in getting word of their interest in Glennon out there to assist in negotiations to acquire their previously-reported top target, Jimmy Garoppolo, for whom the Patriots are demanding a king’s ransom.
Of course, it’s also important to remember what GM Ryan Pace has said many times before: the Bears have many options on the table at quarterback, and they have to stay nimble in their plans.