So, that was a week, eh?
As expected, the Chicago Bears added free agent Mike Glennon to be the team’s new starting quarterback (for the beginning of 2017, at a minimum), and made several other additions in free agency (even if not the ones folks were expecting).
- Speaking of Glennon, you can watch his introductory press conference, including his thoughts on why he’s a better player now than he was in his early days with the Buccaneers:
- I found Glennon’s comments on his time backing up Jameis Winston particularly interesting. We always talk about wanting a developmental quarterback behind a guy like Glennon, but why is not possible that Glennon, himself, was developing in those years after he was a starter with the Bucs? Sure, it’s not a traditional path, but as Glennon points out, it’s not like he wasn’t doing anything the last two years – he was participating in more meetings, he was seeing more NFL defenses, he was maturing physically and mentally, etc. I’m not going to tell you that he’s clearly primed for a breakout – were that the case, there would have been additional aggressive suitors beyond the Bears – but, as I have said before, his path to being the backup in Tampa Bay was not quite like your typical backup who “failed” as a starter, thanks to an uneven coaching situation and the availability of Winston at 1-1. Given Glennon’s contract, the Bears can give him a real shot in 2017 to show that he’s developed, and, if he’s not going to be the guy, there’s no long-term noose around the Bears’ neck.
- Glennon wasn’t the only new free agent to arrive yesterday at Halas:
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) March 11, 2017
- Although I don’t love the idea of punting a season in football, I am down with this approach to free agency so long as the institutional patience is there at the top of the organization:
Pretty clear the #Bears are using their cap space on 1-2 year rentals that buy time to continue building the roster through the draft.
— Adam Hoge (@AdamHoge) March 11, 2017
Ownership has made it clear they are going to be patient and allow Pace to do this right. The last two days prove that hasn't changed.
— Adam Hoge (@AdamHoge) March 11, 2017
- With that approach, and given the particular nature of this draft class, you sure would love to see the Bears seriously entertain trading back from the number three overall pick to add some additional selections in the middle rounds, where they could exploit the draft’s depth in secondary, wide receiver, and tight end prospects. The question is, what team out there is going to be willing to give up a couple extra picks just to move up to number three in this particular draft? In other words, the very reason the Bears might be happy to move down is the reason very few teams are going to want to move up. Of course, it takes only one team to be obsessed with a particular quarterback to make it happen. (Caveat: if the Bears become obsessed with one of the top quarterbacks, well, then, here’s hoping they just pick the guy. It’s just that, as far as we know right now, none of the top QBs in the draft are “the guy.”)
- Alshon Jeffery says his thank you and goodbye:
Alshon Jeffery says 'Thank You' to Chicago. https://t.co/Sb707Gt3gP
— The Players' Tribune (@PlayersTribune) March 11, 2017
- A number of teammates come in for special mention, though it’s impossible not to notice that Jay Cutler is absent.
- Jonathan Allen is setting up pre-draft visits, and the Alabama defensive lineman will visit the Bears on March 20. There was a time not so long ago that Allen was looking like a pretty fantastic pick for the Bears at number three overall, but a combination of a clearer focus on other needs after the start of free agency and Allen’s arthritic shoulders have raised a bunch of questions. Without 100% certainty that Allen’s shoulders will hold up for a good long while, it’s going to be virtually impossible for the Bears to risk their top pick on him. They’ll find out more soon.
- The big transaction news later yesterday, aside from Martellus Bennett heading to the Packers, was the Patriots’ trade for wide receiver Brandin Cooks. Adding a new piece for Tom Brady’s offense is a solid idea, but the draft pick cost – the Patriots’ first rounder and third rounder (they get back the Saints’ fourth rounder) – was notable for a team that may consider dealing backup Jimmy Garoppolo. Will the Patriots continue to hold out for the Browns’ first overall pick? Or will they accept the number 12?