The San Francisco 49er’s were on the clock when the word came onto the set at ESPN’s coverage desk that there had been a trade.
I sat there waiting intensely, expecting the Niners to take Solomon Thomas but yet hopping he would fall to us at third.
The commissioner walked out and told a very surprised audience that San Francisco had traded out of the second slot (no surprise there) then he dropped the first bomb on us... the Niners had traded the pick to the Chicago Bears.
We were on the clock!
I’ve gotta admit what ran through my head... “Wow, we must REALLY want Solomon Thomas”. I was a bit confused, but figured that since it was only one spot it wouldn’t cost a fortune... and if we got our guy, well so be it.
Commissioner Goodell came back to the podium, stepped up and dropped a nuclear warhead into the 2017 draft. The Chicago Bears selected quarterback Mitchell Trubisky out of North Carolina.
I stared at my computer screen in absolute amazement...
I didn’t shout, scream, yell, curse or anything else...
I let out a breath that I didn’t even know I had been holding, and leaned back into my recliner as the interwebs exploded around us all.
In my wildest dreams, I didn’t see that coming at all.
I know a lot of my friends were throwing pencils at the wall, were screaming, ranting, raving or even cheering, but I just sat there for a minute and then nodded my head. Once we had drafted Trubisky, the Glennon contract made perfect sense to me.
I was one of those who thought from the start that the Glennon contract meant that Chicago was poised to draft a quarterback in the first three rounds. It’s basically a one-year deal with two years of options, and it’s a below-average wage for a starting QB in the NFL. We needed somebody to start this year, and Glennon made sense.
The thing that I didn’t quite get was the whole narrative that we “overpaid” for Glennon, or that we “bid against ourselves”. There is some merit to the argument that we perhaps could have gotten him at a lesser rate since we were the only team that appeared really interested in him.
The contract, however, showed us a lesson about GM Ryan Pace that I had not yet really grasped... Pace is a man who will spend whatever ammunition necessary to lock up his man early.
In a sense, he did the same thing with Trubisky that he did with Glennon... people say he overpaid (I will let others argue that point) to move up one slot, but in reality what he did was spend some assets to guarantee that he got his man... exactly the same way he did with Glennon, and exactly the same way he did with Floyd.
Did we overpay? I will leave that for you to decide... one thing is sure, though, we didn’t stand by and watch the guy everybody obviously wanted go one spot ahead of us like Phil Emery did with Aaron Donald. We don’t know how many people were on the phone with Chicago trying to trade up to get Trubisky. If WE were getting calls about him at one step lower (especially with the Niners eyeing Thomas) you KNOW that the Niners were getting calls about that spot as well.
I keep hearing the narrative, most recently by Brian Urlacher, that people don’t understand why we signed both Glennon and Trubisky. It seems so obvious to me.
Glennon’s contract looked like a “one-and-done” from day one. Trubisky looked to be a guy that needed time to develop. It really is that simple.
About 5 minutes later, my wife came home from roller derby practice and asked how the draft was going...
“I have absolutely no idea,” I said.
I still don’t.
Now that everybody has had a chance to calm down and reflect about that night, how did your draft experience go? Did you freak out? Were pencil’s thrown? Spill the beans, let me know.