Even NFL teams that need a quarterback seem to have gotten cold feet. The Buffalo Bills, New York Jets and San Francisco 49ers have taken themselves out of the running for Glennon, according to CSN Chicago. And with that, the Chicago Bears seem to be the last team standing in this competition That lines up with many reports on Tuesday that Chicago seemed to be the front-runner for Glennon.
Nothing can be signed until Thursday, so perhaps one of those teams comes back in on Glennon, or a mystery team emerges (let’s be honest, it’s not really a free-agency party til “mystery team” arrives). But at the moment all signs are pointing to the Bears winning the Glennon sweepstakes. Though, at that price, almost everyone would argue that the Bears aren’t “winning” anything.
The Brock Osweiler comparisons will start immediately, no matter which team signs Glennon. Osweiler turned a few starts with the Denver Broncos and a dry quarterback market into an $18 million a year salary with the Houston Texans. He struggled mightily in his first season and is already being mentioned among the biggest free-agent busts ever. Glennon, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ backup the past two seasons, will immediately be under the same spotlight, though that’s not necessarily fair.
The Bears need a quarterback, and the price to get one is not cheap, in a contract or a draft pick. The Bears have a ton of cap space (here’s a glance at the cap room for each team as of early Tuesday morning), and if they do sign Glennon they’ll be taking a chance that a former third-round pick who has played fairly well in his NFL career can be a competent starter for them. And they can use the third pick of the draft on other needs (or even a quarterback like North Carolina’s Mitchell Trubisky; a Glennon deal wouldn’t necessarily preclude other quarterback moves). The damage from a contract like Glennon will probably get is overstated – like with Osweiler, any Glennon deal will likely be set up so it’s a large short-term investment that won’t be felt on the cap for long if it doesn’t work out. Unless you’re worried about the Bears’ bank statements, however much they pay Glennon really doesn’t have a big impact on the football product. They have enough cap room to make whatever other moves they want to make, in addition to Glennon.
But we all know that’s not how it will work. Glennon will sign a huge deal, and at this point it seems like it will be with Chicago. Everyone will freak out about that big contract. Every time Glennon throws an interception, the details of his contract will be brought up. He’ll be under constant pressure to play up to that contract, even though anyone in his position would have happily taken the money too. And the pressure would be even more intense in football-crazy Chicago, which has chased a star quarterback for decades, than it was for Osweiler in Houston.
Maybe all the tea leaves are wrong and Glennon will land somewhere else. If it does end up being with the Bears, the expectations will start before the ink is dry on the contract.