The NFL is a strange place where hope turns to horror in a heartbeat.
Imagine being de facto Chicago Bears quarterback Mike Glennon for a moment. You’ve just been signed to be the team’s starting quarterback — paid handsomely, yes — and you’re asked to go to the team’s Miller Lite Bears draft party because, well, you’re now the face of the franchise. Of course you say yes.
But what happens to your face when you see the Bears turning in a card with another quarterback’s name on it? That’s what we only can imagine after reading this Chicago Tribune story by Rich Campbell about Glennon and what transpired on Thursday night when the Bears traded up, and paid a steep price to do so, to land QB Mitchell Trubisky.
It didn’t take Glennon long to see that he’s not going to have a long leash with his new team after waiting his turn for years with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
It’s a cutthroat league, you say, and you’d be right. Very little is guaranteed — especially with contracts — in the NFL. Glennon should have known that this could happen. All of that is true, and being paid a minimum of $18.5 million should soften the blow a bit.
But this goes beyond money. The Bears essentially threw him to the wolves. Unless this Trubisky plan was hatched in the 90 minutes before the draft (which it was not), then asking Glennon to gladly shake hands with the high-rolling, bad-beer-drinking fans was a cruel move. Either that, or the left and right hands have no clue what the other is doing.
This has an effect beyond Glennon. You think his agent is going to trust the Bears for one of his clients going forward? You think other agents aren’t taking note of this incident? What about the guys in the locker room? They can’t feel a burning sense of loyalty here from the team either, even if Trubisky ends up being a wise selection.
For Glennon, too, he has to feel that if he wasn’t flat-out lied to, then he certainly wasn’t told honestly what the deal was. Or, as the report said, based on people close to him, like he “had been cheated on.” There’s nothing illegal about it. But the whole thing just casts such a bad light on a franchise that doesn’t win home games and quickly is slipping into Cleveland Brownsdom. You know, before the Browns had a killer draft.
Glennon had to know the Bears were planning to draft a QB. It’s not about that. It’s about putting him out in front of fans under the auspice of being the starting quarterback when the only pick the Bears would make during that draft party suggests what they really think of him.
Maybe the Bears outbid themselves on Glennon in free agency the way they might have on trading up to the San Francisco 49ers‘ pick. But is it possible that Glennon might have taken less money per year to go to a team that perhaps valued him more? After all, signing for $18.5 million guaranteed is a nice deal. But potentially having to go through the process of relocating a year or two from now might not be a pleasant one. Perhaps there was a team such as the New York Jets that would have paid him, say, $12 million guaranteed but wanted to keep him on the roster for longer than a year. All he would have had to do is beat out Christian Hackenberg, a much-maligned second-rounder.
So you can argue that Glennon can’t cry over this pick, but it’s a different story if he’s watching it at home. Instead, he was made a guest of honor at a Bears party that roundly rained boos when the pick was announced. Maybe that was the one saving grace to the whole deal.
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