Getting To Know New Bears Starting Quarterback Mike Glennon

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Getting To Know New Bears Starting Quarterback Mike Glennon

Chicago Bears

After an offseason of rumors, the Chicago Bears have settled on a new starting quarterback for the present and possibly future: Mike Glennon, a quarterback who hasn’t started a game since 2014.

That is, of course, until the next quarterback of the future is brought to town via the draft, trade, or free agency.

The Bears turned over a new page when it started the offseason by releasing quarterback Jay Cutler, whose teams went 51-51 in his 102 starts over eight years. It is now up to Glennon to author the next chapter in Bears quarterback history.

Player, Age (in 2017) Position

Mike Glennon, 28, quarterback


3 years, $45 million ($18.5 million fully guaranteed)

2016 Performance

  • Season stats: 2 games (0 starts), 10-11, 75 yards, 1 touchdown, 0 interceptions, 125.4 rating
  • Pro Football Focus Grade: 69.0, would rank 26th of 34 qualifying quarterbacks

After not starting a game in 2015, Glennon entered Tampa Bay’s 43-28 loss against the Atlanta Falcons in relief of an injured Jameis Winston. He completed 90.1 percent of his passes, and threw a touchdown pass. He also made an appearance in the Buccaneers’ 36-10 win against the Bears, but accumulated no statistics.

Performance Before 2016

  • Career stats: 21 games (18 starts, 5-13 record), 374-630 (59.4%), 4,100 yards, 30 touchdowns, 15 interceptions, 84.6 rating
  • PFF grades: 72.1 (2013), 76.2 (2014)

You’ll notice Glennon doesn’t have a grade for 2015, and that’s because he didn’t take single snap during the regular season. Winston took every snap for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a rookie in 2015.

Before Winston came into the picture, Glennon was a quarterback project. Glennon took over the starting role from Josh Freeman in Week 4 after an 0-3 start to the season. He showed incremental improvement despite the team losing each of his first five starts. Glennon posted an 83.1 rating, throwing for 1,165 yards, eight touchdowns, and three interceptions. Tampa Bay won three of the next four games, in which Glennon showed more improvement, posting a 92.4 rating before things fell apart, as he posted a 76.2 rating during the team’s season-ending three-game losing streak.

Even still, Glennon was named to the Pro Football Writer’s Association’s All-Rookie Team.

Glennon took a back seat to free agent Josh McCown when Lovie Smith took over in Tampa Bay, but still found playing time when McCown missed some time due to injuries. He went 1-4 in five starts, completing 57.6 percent of his passes, throwing for 1,417 yards, 10 touchdowns and six interceptions. In the end, it didn’t matter who was quarterbacking the team, as the Bucs ended the season with a 2-14 record and the No. 1 pick in the 2015 draft.

Teams inquiring about Glennon’s availability were ultimately turned away by GM Jason Licht. The best they can do now is hope for a compensatory pick in the 2018 draft.


Film Review

Injury history

A clean bill of health. How about that?

Where Glennon Fits

There are two scenarios that are more likely than most with Glennon at quarterback in Chicago.

  1. The first is the Bears bottom out with Glennon under center. He doesn’t take the next developmental step after spending the better part of three seasons in Tampa Bay as a backup behind McCown and Winston. This would put the Bears in a position to land a top pick in a draft that could potentially yield more quarterback talent than the class of 2017. Maybe Connor Shaw or a quarterback drafted in the later rounds in April gets some playing time in a lost season. Maybe Mark Sanchez gets a crack at reviving his career.
  2. Or Glennon can play the position admirably enough to make the Bears respectable in the win-loss column. He proves he learned something as an understudy in Tampa Bay, improving on his footwork and decision-making skills, while taking advantage of a group of strong interior offensive linemen, an emerging Pro Bowl running back in Jordan Howard, and connecting with Cameron Meredith, Markus Wheaton, Kendall Wright, and whatever pass-catching options are available to him. Unfortunately, this scenario probably doesn’t net the Bears a postseason berth – or even a winning season. So what does the end game even look like here?

Glennon is an ideal placeholder quarterback. It is likely Glennon is good enough to be one of 32 starters in a league thirsty for quarterback play, but not good enough to cement his job as a starter, especially on a team with limited offensive weapons. If the Bears find a quarterback they like more than Glennon in the next few years, they can walk away from his contract at any point after paying him $18.5 million in guarantees – a small penance as far as guaranteed money for quarterbacks is concerned. And if they find that quarterback while Glennon is still on the roster, he isn’t the type to make a fuss about it, based on his history taking a backup role behind McCown and Winston.


I spent a lot of time watching teams and situations. And when I watched Bears film, I saw a great offensive line, a great running game, and playmakers on the outside. I saw a system that fit my skillset. If that’s a place that opens up, that would be a place I wanted to go. … My gut was always telling me the Bears. My wife can attest to that. That’s a place I wanted to be.”

It seems as if Glennon had his eyes on the Bears for a while, and you can’t blame him with all the uncertainty at the position in recent years. While the team still has work to do in adding playmakers at receiver, the offensive line and running game are good starting points for a player like Glennon.

Bonus quote: “I think as a quarterback you always have to perform. I have full confidence that I’ll be here for a long time and we’ll win a lot of games.”

Famous last words? If Glennon exceeds expectations, it means the supporting cast around him likely did, too. Quarterback is a position largely dependent on the talent throughout the roster. Good quarterbacks usually can’t be successful without quality play from offensive linemen, receivers, running backs, and defense. If Glennon doesn’t receive that, then he won’t likely be here beyond the three years of his initial contract.

Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.