Asking what you most hoped for Mike Glennon in the coming year would probably garner different responses now that the Chicago Bears have drafted their “quarterback of the future” in Mitch Trubisky.
Over at ESPN Chicago, Jeff Dickerson was asked if the Bears could (should?) trade Glennon after the 2017 season. Given how certain everyone was that the Bears would not be taking a quarterback at the top of the draft, it’s a question no one would have asked a month (or even a week) ago.
Glennon signed a contract early in free agency that could pay him as much as $45 million over the next three years. That was the moment the Bears pushed the reset button on the quarterback position, giving Glennon (and the franchise itself) a fresh start, coming out of the Jay Cutler era. It was a moment that was a long time coming. But a little more than a month later, the Bears doubled down on the quarterback position when they traded up in the draft to acquire the second overall pick to draft Mitch Trubisky.
If Glennon’s future looks fuzzy to you now, you’re not alone. However, know that there is a way for him to provide clarity moving forward.
If things go well for Glennon as the Bears’ starter in 2017, he could be dealt to a situation that pleases him more. Glennon showed signs of being a capable quarterback in Tampa Bay, but was moved aside when the Buccaneers brought in top pick Jameis Winston. Perhaps here is where we find a blueprint the Bears can follow going forward.
Glennon and Winston reportedly pushed each other to be better when the first-round pick showed up to camp. Which is exactly what the Bears need out of Glennon and Trubisky to get the most out of both, even if Glennon is the guy locked into the role of QB1 right now. In 2015, Alan Dell of the Bradenton Herald described Glennon as a “company man,” because of the team-first mentality he exhibited in his time with the Bucs going from rookie fill-in, to outperforming the free agent signed to be the starter, to sliding into a role as a security blanket for Winston. If Glennon can repeat those performances again, he, the Bears, and Trubisky will all be better for the experience.
Imagine the free agent signee playing the role of capable signal caller whose on-field presence allows first-round draft pick to develop in a controlled environment without forcing him into game action. Envision Glennon handing the ball to Jordan Howard 20-30 times a game, excelling in a play-action, where he can attack the middle of the field with Zach Miller and Cameron Meredith, or go outside with Kendall Wright, Markus Wheaton, and a developing Kevin White.
And allow yourself to believe this could happen all while Trubisky learns the ropes of being a professional quarterback.
If these scenarios play out, it would probably be ideal for the Bears from a number of perspectives, not only in the development of Trubisky, but also because the organization could potentially sell high on a quarterback with a team-friendly contract after eating $18.5 million in guarantees. It’s unlikely that Glennon becomes next offseason’s Kirk Cousins or even Jimmy Garoppolo in trade asks, but turning himself into a piece with some trade value? That’s absolutely a realistic hope.
It could also be best for Glennon, who could enter the market after a season in which he not only performed well, but also is lauded for being a good teammate in aiding the development of a drafted quarterback prospect for the second time in his young career.
Maybe if things go well for Glennon in 2017, his future will take care of itself. To that end, rooting for his success in 2017 – and for the Bears to do everything they can to put him in a position to succeed – makes plenty of sense, regardless of the plan for 2018 and beyond.
Brett Taylor contributed to this post.