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Ryan Pace Signs Glennon, But Quarterback Picture Remains Unclear

| March 9th, 2017

(Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

18.5 million.

That’s the number that matters.

It’s the amount guaranteed to Mike Glennon over the course of his three-year contract with the Chicago Bears. It gives him a nice one-year deal for an NFL starting QB and, hopefully, a well-paid second year on the bench. But it’s not the only number that matters. When it comes to the future at quarterback for the Bears, two other numbers carry immense significance.

3.

36.

Those are the first two selections for the Bears in the 2017 NFL Draft. And if the team hopes to come out of the spring with their quarterback of the future, history tells us they will need to find that man with one of those two selections. Because history also tells us Glennon ain’t the guy.

Yes, Jay Cutler is gone. And barring unforeseen circumstances Glennon is going to be the quarterback in 2017. Those sixteen games provide the 6’6″ signal caller (say that five times fast) with every opportunity to keep whomever the Bears select in Philadelphia well behind him on the depth chart.

Glennon is getting the chance every quarterback in the NFL wants – the chance to make a team his own. Last year Brian Hoyer got it and refused to throw touchdowns before shattering into a million pieces. Matt Barkley also had it until his carriage turned back into a pumpkin.

Glennon has a chance to be the guy. And it would make the lives of those working at Halas Hall much easier, and ascend them to borderline hero status, were he to turn out to be the starter for the next seven years. But Ryan Pace has to hedge this bet. He has to look to the draft to secure the future of the quarterback position. And he has to look early.

It’s an odds play. Glennon may turn out to be a good starter but Glennon AND Trubisky or Watson or Kizer or Mahomes or Peterman gives the Bears far better odds of solidifying the position. Just signing Glennon to this short-term contract is only a solid move for the organization if the correlating move happens before Friday night wraps up on draft weekend.

If the Bears get to the Round 3 and haven’t yet taken a quarterback, the Glennon signing will and should raise every eyebrow in Chicagoland.

Pace has begun to paint the future of the quarterback position in Chicago. But until late April, we won’t see the completed canvass.

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Questions For the Potential Glennon Signing

| March 8th, 2017

Spent a day being a prick about this on Twitter. Here are some questions:

(1) Do the Bears believe Mike Glennon to be the future at QB beyond 2017?

(1a) If yes, it will greatly impact their draft strategy. That might be the craziest thing going. If the Bears think one of the quarterbacks in this draft has the potential to be a franchise player there were only two “acquirable” guys that should alter their approach: Jimmy Garoppolo and Tyrod Taylor. Glennon? No.

(1b) If no, it’s fair to say Glennon is at least a more entertaining option that Brian Hoyer. We know exactly where Hoyer’s sky is located. Glennon’s sky is TBD. This is an attempt to be positive.

(2) If the numbers are real, how could a $14 million salary for Glennon in 2017 NOT preclude the Bears from taking a QB in round one? The best case scenario if the Bears take QB in round one is the round one QB starting in September. That would mean the best case scenario is a $14 million backup quarterback.

(3) Is Ryan Pace really willing to risk his job on this guy? Mike Glennon? Really? It just feels so outrageously stupid. I’m not arguing Glennon will stink but the chances of his being a multiyear success story as Bears QB are not very good. Pace has to know that.

(4) So the Bears just really wanted to say goodbye to Jay Cutler, huh?

(5) Does a move like this excite a single fan? Even though the story line was overrated, the team did play to an empty building at the end of the 2016 season. Do the folks at Halas Hall think this signing brings a single person without the last name “Glennon” into the building? It doesn’t.

(6) If he wins, will everybody love him? Yes.

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Today Is the Most Important Day of the Current Regime

| March 6th, 2017

Today is the most day of the regime of Ryan Pace and John Fox because they are finalizing their plans at the quarterback position.

Forget the 40 times and other underwear Olympic events. The Bears needed to sit down and have face-to-faces with the likes of DeShone Kizer, DeShaun Watson and Mitchell Trubisky. They learned what makes these guys tick; got a feeling of thee young quarterbacks’ general football knowledge.

Forget all the rumors you have heard. The Bears could not have determined how much they wanted to spend on a free agent quarterback — or how much to give up in a trade — until they knew what the draft was offering them. Today the Bears are as ready as they’ll ever be to determine the direction of the franchise.

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Sunday Column: Why This Mike Glennon Talk Upsets Me So Much

| March 5th, 2017

Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

If the Bears signed Mike Glennon to be their starting quarterback at the dawn of free agency, it wouldn’t be the end of the world. Glennon can play the position at a serviceable level. He can complete passes. Move around a bit. Decent arm strength. Smart.

But sometimes sports is easy to understand. Sometimes you don’t need Gil Brandt’s scouting history or Matt Bowen’s Xs and Os acumen or Mike Mayock’s ability to dissect quarterbacking mechanics for hours on end, using phrases no other human being in any walk of life would ever use, just to fill the countless air time NFL Network has dedicated to the absurd spectacle known as the Scouting Combine.

Sometimes…Mike Glennon is…Mike Glennon. And signing Mike Glennon to play quarterback means you get Mike Glennon playing quarterback.

Do I think these rumors are true? No. I think Glennon is going to be the starting quarterback of the New York Jets in 2017. But the idea these rumors exist, and that anyone is okay with the Bears replacing Jay Cutler with Glennon, is highly upsetting. Could Glennon be better in 2017 than Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley? Sure. It’s possible. By no means a sure thing but it’s possible.

Could Glennon better in 2017 than the crop of rookie quarterbacks available in the draft? It’s likely, at least for a season. But by no means should any organization with the means choose to see the upside of Glennon in three years over the upside of Watson, Trubisky or Kizer. Even if all three end up being terrible the journey will be far more interesting and the upside far more uppier.

The Bears have a guy that can win more games than he loses. If they’re looking for to upgrade the position, they should be looking for someone to hold down the position for ten years. Glennon ain’t that guy. Not even close.

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What to Watch for At 2017 Combine

| March 1st, 2017

The NFL’s annual meat market kicks off this week and here are a few things to watch for:

The Quarterbacks

In case you haven’t noticed around here, this off-season is about one thing: finding a quarterback. This week is going to be the Bears first real chance to sit down and talk football with the top four guys: Deshaun Watson, DeShone Kizer, Mitch Trubisky and Pat Mahomes.

The Bears know who Brian Hoyer is, have a good feeling about Jimmy Garoppolo and are at least relatively familiar with all of the other veteran options. Their pro personnel department has done their work. They don’t know the quarterbacks in the draft simply because they haven’t had the opportunity to study them beyond their game tape.

Does Watson have enough meat on his bones? What does Kizer attribute his inconsistency to? Is Trubisky really short?  Does Mahomes have any clue when it comes to reading coverage? These are some of the questions the Bears need to ask.

The most important part is going to be the interview process. The Bears need to find out what makes these guys tick. They won’t publicly broadcast that information, but we’ll hear the buzz. The Bears could fall in love with a quarterback here and that could change everything.

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Three Thoughts on the Bears Not Tagging Alshon Jeffery

| February 28th, 2017

A day has now been spent digesting the RapSheet report that the Bears will not be dropping the franchise tag on Alshon Jeffery for the second straight year. My thoughts:

  • Bold. The easy move for Pace would have been to overspend on a homegrown talent the fans love. The easy move would be to say, “We’ve got the cap space so why not?” But Pace doesn’t seem to be doing that. If he lets Jeffery walk, this will be the first truly bold move of of the Pace tenure because unlike letting Forte (age), Marshall (locker room) and Bennett (nuts) walk, the Bears can’t make an argument they’re better without Jeffery.
  • This is not an economic decision. This is an evaluative one. I’ve argued in this space – since the moment Kevin White was drafted – the Bears do not view Jeffery as a true number one receiver for a myriad of reasons. Work ethic. Passion. Preparation. It would be easy to slap Jeffery with the tag to ensure he’s in the fold for 2017. Why don’t the Bears want him in that fold?
  • Tweeted this yesterday and believe it strongly. If the Bears draft their future QB in April and don’t bring back Jeffery, 2017 will be a more difficult season to sit through than 2016.

Is the Jeffery era over? Sure seems that way.

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