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Mike Glennon, the Thing?

| April 1st, 2017

A few weeks back I texted a friend, who also happens to be pretty damn high up with an NFL franchise that doesn’t play their home games in Chicago. I asked him a simple question, “Is Mike Glennon a thing?”

His response: “Pace sure thinks so. Tried to get him last offseason.”

I followed up, making sure he wasn’t fucking with me, then put that information on Twitter. It died there. I thought, “Eh, maybe nobody cares.” Turns out the fans did care but they waited until more reputable newsmen put the information out there to express it. (And yes, I’m kidding. No, I’m not a newsman.)

Ryan Pace likes Mike Glennon. He thinks Mike Glennon can be a successful starting quarterback in the NFL. And while Glennon’s arrival won’t deter the Bears from targeting the QB position at various points of the next two NFL drafts, it’s pretty clear that if you asked the front office to layout their best case scenario moving forward it involves Glennon winning a lot of games and STAYING under center.

Listen, I know I’ve been schizophrenic when it comes to this Glennon stuff.

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Finding A Quarterback: No Interest in Mitch Trubisky?

| March 22nd, 2017

(Author’s note: Last week I wrote I didn’t think the Bears would draft a quarterback third. Forget that, they can’t possibly think Mike Glennon is the answer.)

There has been almost nothing to link the Bears to North Carolina quarterback Mitch Trubisky, which is exactly why I think they really like him.

After sending a team of people, including Ryan Pace and John Fox, to Clemson for Deshaun Watson’s workout, the Bears didn’t send anyone of note to see Trubisky this week. There were also no reports of Pace going to watch Trubisky during the season. Really, nothing has connected Pace and the Bears to Trubisky other than a standard interview at the combine.

Hell, we even have Pace talking specifically about having a problem with what is perceived as Trubisky’s biggest flaw, experience:

“Yeah, it carries a lot of weight. I think there’s nothing that can really substitute that,” Pace said at the Senior Bowl. “It’s already a big jump from college to the NFL as it is, so the more of that you have, the more beneficial it is.”

I don’t buy it. 

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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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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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He’s It: Money No Reason for Bears Not to Tag Alshon Jeffery in 2017

| February 17th, 2017

Alshon Jeffery is a very good football player. A barstool drunk with Bushmills breath and 20/80 vision could tell you Alshon Jeffery is a very good football player. But NFL personnel people are paid duffels of ducats to decide whether a player is bad or okay, okay or good, good or very good, very good or great. They are paid to decipher where to slot a particular talent within the structure of the NFL’s rigid salary cap.

Is Jeffery a great player? That’s the question currently wallpapering the offices in Lake Forest. The more important question may be…does it matter?

From the one and only Adam L. Jahns of the Sun-Times:

“I think Alshon expects more,” Pace said during the Bears’ season-ending news conference Jan.  4. “I think he’s a good player. And that’s a big decision for us.”

But how good is he really?

It’s actually a complex question, considering that the Bears are rebuilding, that the team will have their third receivers coach in three years and that a new quarterback could be coming to town.

The better question might be: Do Jeffery’s talents transcend change?

He had mixed results last season with three quarterbacks. According to Pro Football Reference, Brian Hoyer’s passer rating of 83.3 when throwing to Jeffery was better than Cutler’s (74.3) and Matt Barkley’s (50.9).

On the other side, the argument can be made that the Bears desperately need Jeffery, especially with uncertainty surrounding Kevin White after his second surgery. (White and Jeffery share the same agent.)

Being pragmatic about this decision, there are three options.

  • TAG HIM. With the copious amount of cap space and Jay Cutler most likely coming off the books, Jeffery’s tag hit will be somewhere in the $17-18M range and give the Bears an opportunity to either (a) work out a long-term extensions or (b) use 2017 as a second evaluative year.
  • SIGN HIM. The Bears want to lock up Jeffery long-term but they are not going to pay him like he’s one of the five best receivers in the sport. Why? Because he’s not one of the five best receivers in the sport. And, from my reporting, it’s clear the organization is concerned about Jeffery’s work ethic, how that work ethic has influenced his health and what to make of the four-game suspension he served in 2016.
  • SAY GOODBYE. An old fashioned adios. Pretty simply stuff. Shake his hand, make sure his car is on-time to O’Hare and tell him that both Pat’s and Geno’s are overrated in Philly. (Let’s be honest, the whole concept of the Philly cheesesteak is wildly overrated. It’s fucking beef and cheese. I’ve had better versions of that combination in probably seven other cities. Stick cheese on a Mr. Beef in Chicago or a Chap’s Pit in Baltimore or…okay, enough.)

The latter two options come with significant risk.

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Finding a Quarterback: The Upside of Tony Romo

| January 19th, 2017

Five passes.

That’s all we have to judge Tony Romo on from the 2016 season. Five passes. But they just might be enough.

Ryan Pace and John Fox are feeling the pressure to win now and they may have a chance to sign a quarterback who was considered among the best in the league for a decade. Even with Romo’s injury history, it’s something Pace and Fox are going to consider.

The thing about those five passes is they were all really good. They were sharp and on the money. One was a 15-yard spiral on third-and-11. Another was a deep pass that would’ve been a touchdown if not for an interference penalty. Romo finished his only drive of the season with a beautifully accurate touchdown pass, displaying a touch that very few quarterbacks have. Romo looked very much like the guy who probably should have won the 2014 MVP award.

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Finding A Quarterback: The Roster

| January 10th, 2017

When Ryan Pace was asked what he was looking for in a quarterback he might as well have said “not Jay Cutler.”

We’ve come a long way since last season’s season-ending press conference when Pace talked about building around Cutler. The best quarterback in the history of the franchise missed 11 games and was their least productive quarterback last season. Pace made it pretty clear that his days with the team are numbered.

When asked what attributes he looks for in a quarterback, the young Bears GM specified availability and ball security, Cutler’s two biggest weaknesses. Cutler was intercepted on 3.6 percent of his passes last year and his career average of 3.3 percent is worse than everyone on earth but Ryan Fitzpatrick. Cutler has also missed 23 games due to injury over the last six years. The fact that he missed so much time this season, with separate injuries, at 33 years old, doesn’t work in his favor.

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DBB Weekend Show: All Adam Jahns Edition! [AUDIO]

| January 5th, 2017

ON THE WEEKEND SHOW!

  • Adam Jahns for a half hour, discussing what the postseason press conference means about the future of the Chicago Bears. Special focus on the quarterback position, Alshon Jeffery, Kyle Fuller, injuries to the 2015 draft and how to approach the secondary starting in March.
  • Picks for the Wildcard Round: Raiders +3.5, Seattle -8, Miami +10, New York +4.5.
  • Lots and lots of Shea McClellin talk!

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