The Chicago Bears quarterback situation was a train wreck that could be seen coming 780 miles away. That’s approximately the distance between Chicago and Philadelphia, where Mitchell Trubisky was drafted with the No. 2 overall pick of the 2017 NFL Draft.
Make no mistake, Bears fans were thrilled at the aggressive approach in the draft, with the team trading away assets to move up and select a potential franchise quarterback.
Trubisky was the prototypical pro-style quarterback with the cannon arm to bring the Bears offense back to relevance. It wouldn’t have taken much to appease a Bears fan-base that was used to a revolving door of Jay Cutler, Brian Hoyer, Matt Barkley and Jimmy Clausen. However, by drafting Trubisky, the Bears undermined a previous move made in the offseason to acquire former Tampa Bay Buccaneers backup quarterback Mike Glennon.
A whopping three-year deal wasn’t quite on the Brock Osweiler level of absurdity, but it was pretty close considering Glennon hadn’t really done anything to win a starting job in the NFL, much less a $45 million contract.
The only explanation is the Bears jumped the gun.
They were so worried they wouldn’t have a decent quarterback in 2017 they overpaid a backup to be their starter. Imagine the look on Glennon’s face the moment the Bears moved up the draft board and selected Trubisky. Those that attended the Bears’ draft party won’t have to imagine; they saw his face the moment he realized he wasn’t the franchise quarterback.
Perhaps the most embarrassing part of the story is the Bears were actually the ones that sent Glennon the party invite, which was basically and open invitation to his career funeral. John Fox’s desperate attempts to assure fans Glennon was the starter only fanned the flames of an impending disaster.
The whole world knew Glennon would get a few starts, and that Fox would eventually pull the plug and throw in the younger quarterback with more upside. It was a circus that never needed to happen if the Bears would have simply waited until the draft. They wouldn’t have been any worse off keeping Hoyer or Barkley for another year.
With Glennon’s base salary reaching $12.5 million next season, there is no chance he sticks around in 2018 as a backup. He’ll be shown the same door he walked through nearly a year ago with the hope of finally being a starter—the same door that should have never opened to begin with.
“With the quarterback position, I have no regrets in us being aggressive in attacking that position — it’s that important,” Bears general manager Ryan Pace said in his postseason news conference after the team fired Fox, per the Chicago Tribune. “We all felt confident in Mike, and sometimes in our business, things don’t work out. There’s a lot of factors involved.”
If the Bears really felt confident in Glennon, they would have drafted him a top-tier receiver instead of his replacement at quarterback. There was never any real reason to bring him on board if the Bears planned on moving up in the draft to grab Trubisky.
Fortunately for Glennon, he’ll have the rest of his life to stew over it with $18.5 million in guaranteed money.