The best thing about the Chicago Bears signing Mike Glennon is that he’s not Jay Cutler. After eight years of watching Cutler, anyone not named Jay Cutler is an improvement. Even if he’s not.
It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Cutler was perceived to be the savior when the Bears gave away the farm to trade for him in 2009. Along the way, fans of the team realized why Denver was open to trading a young quarterback coming off an All-Pro season. Between his petulant demeanor along with his propensity to throw the ball to the opponent at the worst possible moment, Cutler leaves town as possibly the biggest enigma to ever play in Chicago.
Now the Cutler era is over, and the Glennon era begins. As is the expectation with Bears quarterbacks, there is none. He’s expected to be a failure. And if he’s even moderately successful, he’s better than most that have worn the blue and orange.
The Bears need to find a quarterback. The right quarterback. It’s something they have seemed reluctant to put a premium on. When GM Ryan Pace first came to Chicago two years ago he mentioned he wanted to draft a quarterback every year. He has yet to draft one.
When asked at the press conference announcing the signing of Glennon if the Bears would still seek a quarterback in the draft, Pace said he would select the best available athlete with each pick, but that Glennon is the starting quarterback, so he intimated that might affect his choices.
He still doesn’t get it. If Glennon is the answer, what is the question? The Bears need more than one candidate for a position they have never had an answer for. If Tampa thought so much of Glennon, why did they draft Jameis Winston? It’s true they liked Glennon as the backup and wanted to keep him around, but that’s as a backup. Somebody else’s junk is the Bears treasure.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m glad the Bears got rid of Cutler and brought in Glennon. I’m also happy they didn’t decide to go with Brian Hoyer. You know what Hoyer is, and that’s a place-holder. There is no future potential. It’s what you see is what you get. Having sat for the last two years, Glennon is somewhat of an unknown. There could be an upside, but he’s going to be playing in the Bears system. With Alshon Jeffery gone, there is no go-to receiver. Are the offensive minds in place to make a quarterback successful in Chicago? With the current coaching staff, it’s highly doubtful.
If Pace whiffs for a third time by passing on taking a quarterback in the draft, what’s the backup plan if Glennon isn’t the answer? Don’t you have to have as much inventory as possible at the position to finally find the right one? If he doesn’t pick a quarterback on the first two days of the draft, picking one on Day 3 is arguably a waste of a pick.
Of course, the Bears could opt to do the smart thing and play to lose this year. Winning meaningless games with a team still far short of competing is a short-sided approach. I know players don’t believe in that philosophy, but sometimes you have to do the best thing for the future of the franchise. And believe me, losing this year is the best thing. The problem is everyone has to be on board. Coach John Fox is unlikely to go along with the program, but he’s also not the answer moving forward. The next Bears Super Bowl team, if there is one, will not be led by him.
Naturally, the one time the Bears land near the top of the draft is in a year barren of quality quarterback talent. Next year is a different story, however. With Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen projected as two of the best available in years, losing this year is a winning proposition. What’s one more year of losing for the Bears?
They might not have been in this situation had they drafted local boy Jimmy Garoppolo in 2014 instead of Ego Ferguson in the second round. Why they passed on him I’ll never know, but his value is through the roof right now. So much so that the New England Patriots are said to want two No. 1 draft picks to trade him. Meanwhile, Ferguson is long gone from the Bears.
But that’s how things go. Successful organizations stock up, even with Hall of Famers manning the position. What better examples than the Pats with Tom Brady and the Green Bay Packers drafting Aaron Rodgers and having him sit for three years backing up Brett Favre?
If the Bears had selected Garoppolo, they wouldn’t have needed Glennon. They might have already had their quarterback of the future. And he passes a very important test in my girlfriend’s quarterback rating scale—She thinks he’s cute, so that’s a win for her. And as Bears fans know, wins are tough to come by these days.