Sunday night Rumor Mill? Heck yeah, why not? It’s a busy time of year, with free agency coming this week …
- Two more credible reports attached the Bears to free agent quarterback Mike Glennon earlier, and now you can add Jason La Canfora to the mix of those hearing there’s a legitimate connection there: “As for Glennon, he is clearly poised at the top of a very shallow starting quarterback free agent market and several GMs around the league believe Chicago has the strongest current interest in him and will emerge as the front-runner to land him coming out of the combine.” You’ll recall, La Canfora reported earlier this offseason that Patriots backup Jimmy Garoppolo was “far and away” the Bears’ top target this offseason, but he now notes the Bears believe Glennon can “do the job,” and won’t cost the Bears significant assets in trade like Garoppolo.
- … to which I’ll say once again, that could be completely legitimate, and the Bears might be higher on Glennon as a long-term starter than most. Or, it’s entirely possible that they want to apply some pressure to the Patriots to accept a more manageable trade package (i.e., something like, “Free agency is coming, and if we don’t know that you’ll be reasonable on Garoppolo, we’ve already got our ducks in a row on Glennon, whom we can sign at any time, so … get real on your demands.”) GM Ryan Pace has said more than once that the Bears have several avenues available for acquiring a quarterback – and contingency plans – so it’s also possible that these Glennon rumors are not merely about trade leverage, but the Bears would be cool with it if they worked out that way.
- Oh, one other possibility on the Glennon rumors: you always have to keep in mind this time of year that agents and other teams sometimes have reasons for letting these things circulate, because of the potential downstream impact. Perhaps some other party out there has an interest in the appearance that the Bears are going to be very aggresive on Glennon, even if the Bears have no such intent (for example: Glennon’s camp trying to drive the price up on another team, a QB-needy team trying to convince a different free agent that the Bears won’t be an option for him, etc.).
- Last thing on Glennon for now:
— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) March 6, 2017
- Wow. I guess the last few years of salary cap increases (up some $40 million since 2013) are having the desired effect for players. To give that price tag some context, Adam Hoge responds:
Seems like a good time to remind everyone that Cutler is due a minimum $12.5m, max $15m, in '17 w/ 4 yrs of control & $0 guaranteed. https://t.co/8HOAcrXR1X
— Adam Hoge (@AdamHoge) March 6, 2017
- Meanwhile, the reported asking price on Garoppolo is still sky high – as much as a first and a second round pick.
- Speaking of the Patriots and trades, they’ve reportedly offered their first round pick – 32nd overall – to the Saints as part of a package for wide receiver Brandin Cooks. Should they pull off a trade like that, you could imagine a scenario where they might be slightly more amenable to acquiring a pick in that range – say, the Bears’ second rounder – in a trade for Garoppolo.
- Back to La Canfora’s report for a moment, as he also indicates that the Browns will have serious interest in Bills QB Tyrod Taylor if he’s let go, as he very well may be. Given Myles Garrett’s continued demonstration that he should be the pick at 1-1, and the possibility that the Browns’ preferred quarterback option might not still be on the board at pick 12, perhaps going the free agency route makes sense for them (and then they could take a quarterback who could need more developmental time).
- (I still see a lot to like in Taylor for the Bears, by the way, but perhaps they won’t want to wait until March 11, which is when the Bills must make a nearly $30 million decision on Taylor. Free agency opens up March 7, with players able to sign with new teams on March 9 – if the Bills waited until the last moment to decline their option on Taylor, and if Glennon signed elsewhere on March 9, a team like the Bears who waited could be out of luck. (This, again, assumes the Bears really do want Glennon.))
- Meanwhile, another potential quarterback soon to be on the market is Tony Romo, and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones poo-poo’d that three-team trade rumor that would have seen Romo wind up in Washington. Jones says that he’ll be working with Romo to try to do right both by the Cowboys and by Romo.
- Speaking of Washington, a report from the Washington Post highlights the possible disarray behind the scenes with the organization, and how, with so much confusion, agents may steer their free agents away from Washington. Related, perhaps: Mike Florio reports that Kirk Cousins still hasn’t signed his one-year, $23.94 million franchise tender. That’s a lot of money to be sitting on, which can technically be revoked by Washington.
- The 49ers would still like to work a trade for Cousins (Sacramento Bee), which would pair him with his former offensive coordinator, Kyle Shanahan, the new head coach in San Francisco. If a deal can’t be consummated by the time free agency opens up, the 49ers may move on to Mike Glennon – which, just as is the case with the Bears, could be about genuine interest in Glennon, could be about applying pressure to Washington, or could simply be about not wanting to be left holding the bag after March 9.
- Tony Jefferson is reportedly likely to depart the Cardinals in free agency, and given the Bears’ needs at safety, he’s definitely one to watch.