- Stephen B. Morton/AP
The Chicago Bears made a surprising move in free agency on Thursday, signing 27-year-old quarterback Mike Glennon to a three-year, $43.5 million deal, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport.
In the process, the Bears appear to have agreed to significantly more than what other teams were considering.
With several reports indicating the Chicago Bears are going to move on from starter Jay Cutler this offseason, the team has been active in looking for a replacement in the quarterback market.
Glennon has spent the past two seasons of his three-year career as a backup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He has started just five games since starting 13 in his rookie year.
While it’s not unusual for teams to target young backup quarterbacks like Glennon and give them a shot to start, it looks as if the Bears went above and beyond to sign Glennon, according to Albert Breer of the MMQB.
Bears set to sign Mike Glennon to a deal at close to $15M APY. Others (NYJ, Buf) kicked tires in $8M-$10M APY range, bailed when price rose.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 9, 2017
Rapoport also reports that the Bears will still most likely draft a quarterback.
It’s unclear what the structure of Glennon’s deal is, so perhaps there are options for the Bears to move on if Glennon doesn’t play well. As Pro Football Talk’s Michael David Smith notes, the Bears would still be paying Glennon slightly less than most starting quarterbacks. It’s not a bad deal for the Bears if Glennon proves to be capable and helps them compete while they develop a younger quarterback.
At the same time, there would be quite a gulf between an average of $9 million a year (what other teams were reportedly offering) and $15 million a year. That is starter’s money for what appears to be a rental. If the Bears draft a quarterback who proves ready to start by next year, they could have one of the more expensive backups in the league.