When the Chicago Bears decided to sign free agent quarterback Mike Glennon to a three-year, $45 million deal with $18.5 million guaranteed earlier this offseason, it raised a few eyebrows.
After all, Glennon started just 18 games in the NFL and spent the last two years as Jameis Winston’s backup.
But, with $16 million guaranteed for the upcoming 2017 season, it appeared as though the Bears had confidence that Glennon could come in and immediately produce as a viable starter in the front-loaded deal.
On the night of the 2017 NFL Draft, when the organization shockingly selected quarterback Mitch Trubisky out of the University of North Carolina with the second overall pick.
Not only did the pick create a massive amount of confusion, but it also was a clear shot at Glennon, who despite making a lot of guaranteed money next season, is not regarded as the quarterback of the future in Chicago.
"I think just like everyone here, I was surprised [the Bears took Trubisky second overall]," Glennon told reporters after the Bears' OTA practice on Tuesday.
"That's the bottom line. But it was made clear to me about 10 minutes after, from a call from [general manager] Ryan [Pace], and the next morning again, the 2017 season is my year. That's all I can worry about. I'm not worried about the future. I'm not worried about the past. I'm worried about the present, and right now this is my team, and that's where my focus is,” he added.
As Glennon knows, nothing is a given at the NFL level. Despite proving himself as an NFL starter in Tampa Bay, the organization didn’t think he had what it took to be a legitimate long-term face of their franchise. Before taking a snap for the Bears, they essentially came to the same conclusion.
But, it appears as though he’s savoring the opportunity to show not only his team, but every other team in the NFL what he’s capable of in the upcoming season and he has no regrets.
"There's absolutely no reason to go hindsight," Glennon said. "But even if I were to, I would still have come here. Like I said, this is my year. There are no guarantees in the NFL. The majority of guys in the NFL are playing year-to-year. I'm here to prove myself that I can be the quarterback this year and going forward. But right now my focus is on winning games this year.”
Since Trubisky was drafted due to his potential and likely needs at least a year of grooming (since he started just 13 games in college), Glennon also seems to be looking forward to serving as a leader for a group of quarterbacks that includes the rookie, Mark Sanchez and Connor Shaw.
"He seems like a great kid," Glennon said of Trubisky. "Obviously we haven't spent a whole lot of time together -- the rookies have to do some separate things on the side, and he had to go out of town this past weekend. But he seems like a great kid, eager to learn, and I think we'll have a great relationship."
While Glennon has the starting job to begin the year, it remains to be seen what will happen if the team is out of playoff contention in the second half of the season. If that’s the case, it’s hard to legitimize not giving Trubusky, who Chicago believes is their future star, some legitimate game experience.
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