Free agency rumors will be front-and-center for the foreseeable future, but let’s not lose sight of the draft:
I've been doubted & criticized my whole life. None of you people's opinions matter to me. I just hustle & stay in my own lane.
— Deshaun Watson (@DeshaunWatson4) March 8, 2017
Clemson’s Deshaun Watson is one of the top quarterbacks of this draft class, but his future won’t get any clearer until the dust settles after free agency. Teams like the Bears, Browns, 49ers, Jets, Bills, and others could address their quarterback vacancies before April’s draft in a way that makes using a high first-round pick on Watson unwise. Even still, some teams could consider drafting Watson to fill a long-term quarterback need even after using free agency for a shorter-term fix. (For example, this is an approach the Bears could reportedly take.)
No matter what happens moving forward, it’s apparent Watson has ample motivation. As for the other quarterbacks available this offseason …
- There is a ton of smoke when it comes to the Mike Glennon-Bears connection, so at some point we would be wise to get to know him. With that in mind, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times offers up what Bears (and Jets?) fans need to know about Glennon. It’s a rather detailed piece combing through the pros and cons of the 27-year-old free agent quarterback, whose has two signature games that suggest there is untapped talent. On the other hand, it’s clear Glennon isn’t a finished product – which is less than ideal when talking about a veteran quarterback who could get as much as $15 million per season, despite losing a quarterback competition to Josh McCown, and who did nothing to keep Tampa Bay from drafting Jameis Winston.
- Dan Durkin of The Athletic studied four of Glennon’s complete games, and analyzed each of his 30 touchdowns and 15 interceptions in a deep dive on the potential Bears target. It all adds up to Glennon being a stopgap starter and the ideal backup. To be clear, there is a market for a quarterback with Glennon’s skillset. Further, the Bears should be looking at a player like Glennon who owns a career 2.4 percent interception rate and a 20-to-1 touchdown-interception ratio in the red zone. Perhaps Glennon fits the kind of conservative offense head coach John Fox has been known to employ in the past, and could be a serviceable filler piece while the Bears’ quarterback of the future develops. But to expect more out of Glennon seems foolish, based on the information provided.
- Because, as David Haugh writes in the Chicago Tribune, making a significant commitment to Glennon would be a sign of the Bears’ continued commitment to mediocrity. Ridding the franchise of Jay Cutler is supposed to be the sign of a new start, but settling for Glennon this early in the process suggests the Bears would be stuck in the middle – again.
- ESPN’s Matt Bowen digs through some Glennon tape from 2013 and 2014 and comes up with some interesting commentary. Bowen says Glennon’s arm strength stands out, adding he has the ability to throw into tight windows and complete passes throughout the route tree. Further, Bowen suggests that Glennon has the tools to be a successful NFL quarterback, but needs the necessary reps for development. Again, Glennon has some positive selling points, but the fact that he still needs development time is a reason not to spend big on the free agent quarterback.
- Quarterback moves don’t make the list of Pro Football Focus’ 10 splash free agent signings Eric Eager would like to see. There are some Bears ties on the list, highlighted by Alshon Jeffery signing with the New Orleans Saints, and A.J. Bouye landing in Chicago. Jeffery in New Orleans would be a boon for the free agent receiver, who would play under an offensive guru at coach (Sean Payton) and one of the game’s elite quarterbacks (Drew Brees) if he made a maneuver to sign with New Orleans. The Bears are in on Stephon Gilmore, but Bouye’s breakout season could launch him in the Bears’ direction. Last offseason, GM Ryan Pace was able to pluck linebacker Danny Trevathan after the Broncos’ Super Bowl win. If Pace could replicate that with Bouye (or Gilmore) in 2017, the Bears’ defense could be on its way to a rebound.
- The Bears aren’t listed on NFL analyst Gregg Rosenthal’s list of teams that have the most at stake this offseason, but the Green Bay Packers made the list. Rosenthal serves reminders that the Packers aren’t often headline makers in the free agent market, but have landed impact players such as Charles Woodson, Julius Peppers, and Jared Cook when the team stepped out. Green Bay could be in the market to do so again, potentially focusing on replacing defensive playmakers after being ousted by the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Championship Game.
- Speaking of the Packers, defensive lineman Letroy Guion was handed a four-game suspension to be served during the first four games of the 2017 season for violating the NFL’s policy on performance enhancing drugs. Guion started 15 games for Green Bay in 2016.
- One former Chicago Bears offensive lineman continues to find work. The Jaguars re-signed Patrick Omameh to a one-year deal after proving to be a worthwhile piece along the Jacksonville line. Omameh, who played for the Bears in 2015, played in 10 games (seven starts) serving as a replacement for starters Kelvin Beachum and Luke Joeckel, who played tackle and guard, respectively.
- We dropped an early-morning Rumor Mill check-in, if you missed it.