Mike Glennon isn’t much to look at. He’s got the vacant stare of a Best Buy employee and the anechoic, uninteresting voice typical of career athletes. His sparse, balding pate would be more appropriate on a guy named “Ray” or “Bart,” just getting done with a roofing job and heading to the local watering hole.
Glennon, only 27 years old, is departing a strange situation in Tampa Bay where he was good enough to lock down the backup role to Jameis Winston, but unspectacular enough to not even be considered in competition for the starting role. This comes after a stint where former Bears darling Josh McCown was signed to an egregious contract & built around for an offseason, despite the presence of a young & bright-eyed Glennon on the Tampa Bay roster, all under the direction of former Bears coach Lovie Smith.
The Bucs moved on from McCown. They moved on from Lovie. Now they’ve moved on from Glennon.
For a franchise whose fans love to rally around players they perceive as blue-collar or unheralded (and preferably underpaid), you’d think that Glennon would be a welcome change for the Bears. By all accounts he’s humble, intelligent, and well-liked by his teammates. He’s essentially a career backup who’s getting a (possibly temporary) starting gig in Chicago – what’s not to like? Bears fans love career backups, after all.
As a bonus, Mike Glennon has this going for him: He’s not Jay Cutler! Cutler, who came in as a megastar and left as an overpaid coin flip of a pariah, has a celebrity wife, celebrity looks, yet wanted nothing to do with fame or media coverage. Fans will irrationally despise him for years to come, even if the criticism is remarkably unfair.
Meanwhile, the reaction to Glennon coming to Chicago has been, almost universally from a fan perspective, overwhelmingly negative.
Glennon has a quarter of Cutler’s ability, yet will hit the Bears salary cap harder than if they simply chose to stay with Jay. It’s confusing for many, but for any who have followed the Cutlerian saga from the beginning, you understand that the franchise, and in turn likely Cutler himself, are mutually agreeable to a parting of the ways.
So for what is rumored to be a 3-year $45-million deal, fans will have to get used to seeing Mike Glennon in a Bears uniform. His helmet will look awkwardly large bobbling on his elongated neck, and we’ll all have to get used to his ungraceful gait. His feet are clumsy at times, and Glennon’s arm, the best part of his game, is loping and unexceptional.
In fact, Mike Glennon on the whole is precisely that: Unexceptional. He’s going to be paid $15M, at least for one season, to help John Fox justify why he should remain as head coach of the franchise. He’s the NFL equivalent of a doorstop. Functional, sturdy, but single-purpose and disposable.
He’s a nice guy, and maybe donning a Bears uniform will unlock some forgotten potential still within his core, but chances are excellent that for at least part of one season, we’re all going to slump a little lower in our recliners, watching this boring player inevitably lose his job to a rookie quarterback, and when in 2019 he finds himself – once again – as the Backup to the Stars, Mike Glennon will be 30 years old, and know that the tale of his NFL career will be one of forgotten mediocrity.
Which I suppose, when you think about it, is the Chicago Bears in a nutshell.
So I guess this signing makes a lot of sense after all.