Leading up to free agency, it was believed that the Chicago Bears would cash in and make a big splash. On March 9th, they did exactly that. The huge acquisition wasn’t a defensive back like Stephon Gilmore, nor was it a re-signing of wide receiver Alshon Jeffery. Instead, it was Mike Glennon: a middle-of-the-road quarterback who hadn’t started in a game since 2014.
To many fans, this was a confusing move. It was made even more confusing when the Bears traded up to pick Mitch Trubisky with the second overall pick. While Glennon’s contract is very big - one could argue that they would’ve been better off re-signing Brian Hoyer as a temporary starter - it’s very team-friendly.
Glennon will be making a base salary of $8 million this year with an additional $6 million in bonuses. His contract has a dead cap of $18.5 million this season, meaning that it would count that much against Chicago's salary cap were he to not make the team. However, that dead cap drastically goes down after this year. In 2018, Glennon's deal will have a $4.5 million hit against the cap. It'll fall even farther down in 2019, when the dead cap will reach $1 million.
This would make it incredibly easy for the Bears to get rid of Glennon after one or two years and save a lot of money. By that time, Trubisky would likely take the reigns as the full-time starter at quarterback.
So, the next time some misinformed idiot ridicules your beloved Bears for signing Glennon, just show him or her this.
For the time being, though, the long-necked love machine appears to be the team’s starter. There isn’t much in the way of recent production to look at, as he’s only thrown 11 passes in the past two years. However, he was one of the league's best backups for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers under Jameis Winston, and he could likely start for a handful of teams.
This is what NFL.com had to say about Glennon on his draft profile from 2013:
The lean, strong-armed passer performed fairly well in a difficult situation (3,054 yards, 31 touchdowns) when asked to take over for Wolfpack legend Russell Wilson in 2011. If he improves his accuracy and pocket poise in his second season as a starter, as well as his ability to recognize what defenses are trying to takes away from him, scouts just might project him as an eventual starter.
In the profile, Mike Mayock stated that he saw shades of a franchise quarterback on tape. Obviously, the Bears aren't looking for Glennon to become that. It would be incredibly beneficial to their team if he were to have even an average season this year, though.
Age: 27 years old
Experience: Five years
Weight: 225 pounds
Contract and salary cap
Glennon is in the first year of a three-year, $45 million deal. As mentioned earlier, he has a base salary of $8 million with $6 million in bonuses this season. His contract currently has a dead cap of $18.5 million.
Reason for improvement in 2017
Mike Glennon has proven that he can be a solid starter in the pros. Mitch Trubisky hasn't yet. Granted, that alone should not be enough to make Glennon the starter in Week 1. However, John Fox's track record proves that he doesn't typically start rookie quarterbacks right away.
Besides Trubisky, Fox has drafted six other quarterbacks during his tenures with the Panthers and Broncos. Out of those six, none of those players were starters for their teams in Week 1. Jimmy Clausen started in ten games in his rookie year, but nobody else made an immediate impact. Sure, Trubisky is the only first-rounder that Fox has picked, and he's definitely the most talented rookie at the position that he's worked with. As the record shows, though, Foxy isn't one to rush the development of his rookie signal-callers.
That means that Glennon will likely be the starter in the first week of the year. If he can get in the groove of being a full-time starter again, then he could end up being the starter for most of, if not all of, 2017.
Reason for regression in 2017
Although Glennon will likely start the year as Chicago's lead quarterback, he could easily lose his role in the starting lineup.
As mentioned before, he hasn't actually started a game since 2014. That year, he lost his spot in Tampa Bay's starting lineup to Josh McCown. Eventually, the Buccaneers gave up on the Mike Glennon Experience just two years after they used a third-round pick on him by selecting Jameis Winston with the first pick.
There's a reason Winston was the first overall pick, and there's a reason Mitch Trubisky was the second overall pick this year: they're both great players. If Glennon starts to struggle, then Chicago would be in good hands. They could easily just put Trubisky into the starting lineup. If he does well, then there's a good chance that Glennon would never get that starting spot back.
So while his starting spot is likely safe for Week 1, it can likely be taken away at any other point this season.
Final roster odds
Glennon's going to make the 53-man roster, no doubt about it.