Let’s say you’re running the Chicago Bears. I’m sorry, you’ll just need to bite the bullet on this one. So you’re running the Bears, thinking ‘Well, Jay Cutler isn’t going to be around forever. We need to find our next quarterback!’ So who do you target? Maybe Jimmy Garoppolo in a trade. Perhaps you’re thinking of using the third overall pick, be it in a trade or the NFL Draft.
There are a handful of free agents to keep in mind. And while the quarterback class isn’t overwhelmingly strong in this year’s draft, you’re the Bears. You’re in desperate need of a franchise quarterback, after all. Perhaps it’s finally time to take a chance on the future. Sooner or later, that needs to be a risk your front office is willing to take. Then again, is it even a risk at this point?
So you think, you deliberate, and finally a decision is made. It is with careful consideration that you have chosen to target… Mike Glennon. No, seriously:
From what I heard at the NFL combine, the Bears will be the team that pushes hardest for QB Mike Glennon.
— Rick Stroud (@NFLSTROUD) March 4, 2017
Now you’re running the Buffalo Bills. (Hey that’s slightly better, right?) You’ve had a solid signal-caller since 2015, and over those two years the offense—in terms of points and yards—is fine. All in all we’re talking middle of the road numbers here, and yet, a substantial improvement on the 2014 season.
If not for Rex Ryan destroying the defense, one that ranked fourth in points and yards allowed the year before he took over, it would have made quite the difference. Ryan took the Bills from a 9-7 record in ’14 to 8-8 in ’15; and finally, a 7-9 finish last season.* The defense would rank 15th and 19th in points and yards allowed in ’15, respectively, then 16th and 19th the following season. Meanwhile under center, Tyrod Taylor was forging his own career. Better yet, it was looking pretty good.
So naturally, your inclination is to cut him. Come again?
Two different franchises, two different conferences—but both sides equally inept. So let’s take a closer look.
If you’re the Bears, did you watch Mike Glennon’s 13 games during his rookie season in 2013? How about the six the following year? Keep in mind: he didn’t register a passing attempt in 2015, and threw the ball just 11 times last season.
But let’s travel back to Glennon’s first two NFL seasons; what did they show us? Well, a 58.8 percent completion rate on 364-of-619 passing, for starters. As we move forward, 29 touchdowns to 15 interceptions. Nine fumbles, of which he lost four. Finally, a rating of only 83.7. And for what it’s worth, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were 5-13 over Glennon’s 18 starts.
Hardly a large sample, but awfully mediocre results nonetheless. Look a little closer, and maybe it becomes clearer from the Bears’ perspective. Cutler’s career rating spanning eight years over in Chicago is only slightly higher (85.2). Perhaps Chicago football is just addicted to the mediocre. But is mediocre worth $14-15 million per year? Well reportedly, that’s what the sources are saying Glennon could get. No, really.
If you’re the Bears, why would you even consider signing Glennon for that much money? Don’t answer that.
Now Glennon is by no means old; he just turned 27 in December. But wouldn’t this make more sense for the Bears if he was, say, 23 or 24? That’s a good chunk of change for “meh.” They’ve already spent a good chunk of change on that. They continue to learn nothing.
That said, let’s get back to the Bills.
Tyrod Taylor is also 27 years old, and won’t turn 28 until August. He has two consecutive seasons of 14 or more starts under his belt with solid accompanying numbers to boot. A 62.6 percent completion rate on 511-of-816 passing, for starters. 37 touchdowns to just 12 interceptions—only six each season, in fact. Oh, and 1,148 yards rushing on 199 carries (5.8 YPC) with 10 touchdowns as well.
And while Taylor did fumble the ball 13 times over said two-year span, only three of those were lost. Plus the majority of those fumbles (nine of them, in fact) occurred two years ago. In short: Tyrod Taylor protects the ball. He produces both with his arm and legs. He neither looks to run nor does he need to, but he’s more than capable. If you’re the Bills, why would you even consider cutting him? Again, don’t answer that.
Franchise quarterbacks are essential in today’s game, but they’re not easy to find. The Bears don’t have one, but there’s no reason to believe Glennon is the answer. They’re better off taking a chance in the draft. The Bills, however, may already have one. Though not for too much longer, it appears. So just what the heck are these teams thinking?
I imagine that whatever the answer is, it won’t make their fans feel better.
*Editor’s Note: The original published copy stated that “Ryan took the Bills from a 4-12 record in ’14…” which is incorrect. The Bills finished 9-7 in 2014. The article has been amended to reflect the correction.