Franchise quarterbacks are always in high demand, especially as the NFL has continued its trend of developing into a passing league. That’s why quarterbacks have been taken with the first two-picks in the draft in the past two years, when that had only occurred five other times in NFL history. It can also be a reason why Brock Osweiler, after only seven career starts and a QBR of 58.3, managed to easily land a four-year, $72 million contract with the Houston Texans in 2015. I am going to take the highroad for Seahawk fans and not even mention Matt Flynn.
This trend places a much higher ceiling on questionable quarterbacks, while owners hold their breath praying they found their next franchise star. Tony Romo is a hot commodity on the market, but mostly as a 1-2 year stop-gap. He doesn’t have the stamina or age to save a franchise long-term. That’s where the younger, more opportunistic free agents, like Mike Glennon, enter the conversation.
In the short few days that have passed since I started drafting this article, Glennon has become even more of a debated topic. Not necessarily due to this skill, but because teams are claiming they’re not letting their backups off into free agency or willing to trade them (re: Jimmy Garoppolo), making the market even smaller.
Prior to this week, Glennon has been seemingly overlooked in the media when compared to Garoppolo and even A.J. McCarron, even though he’s been in the league since 2013. This is largely due to the fact that football (and particularly fantasy) writers understand that Glennon is not quite a franchise changing option. Glennon is not an underdog, he’s an under-performer.
With so many teams still in need of a competent starting quarterback, Glennon will likely get his shot given that many in the NFL have not learned from the Osweiler-Texans contract, as justified by such following statements:
Via ESPN: Glennon is an unrestricted free agent and could fetch $13-15 million per year on his next deal — maybe more depending on the number of teams bidding.
$15 million per year is a considerably large sum of money to offer a quarterback with only 18 career starts, but if that held much clout then Osweiler wouldn’t be where he is today. There are teams out there that will be desperate enough to give Glennon what he’s asking for, and fantasy owners that will be backed into similar corners during the 2017-18 season, depending where he ends up.
Hell, I even started Glennon in 2014 on a Hail Mary attempt because of a bye week bind in a 12-team 2QB league (it didn’t pan out). So, if Glennon is going to be a viable option for organizations and fantasy owners alike, let’s evaluate where he deserves to fit.
Glennon was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the third round (73rd overall) of the 2013 NFL draft as the third quarterback drafted (behind E.J. Manuel and Geno Smith). By the fourth week of the 2013 season, the Buccaneers announced Glennon would start in Week 4 over Josh Freeman, after the Bucs started their season 0-3. Glennon’s first career start against the Cardinals started out well, leading the team to a 10-0 lead through three quarters. Unfortunately, the lead was short-lived once Glennon was intercepted (twice) by Patrick Peterson in the fourth quarter. The Bucs went on to lose the game, along with the next eight. Glennon didn’t get his first career win until Week 10 against the Miami Dolphins.
Yet, through the 13 games he played in 2013, Glennon managed 14.2 fantasy points per game and a passer rating of 83; a fairly solid per-game average for a rookie with a losing record. With only nine interceptions on the season paired with 19 touchdowns, it makes you wonder what Glennon could accomplish with a stronger offense.
Unfortunately, Glennon experienced much of the same in the 2014 season. New coach Lovie Smith signed Josh McCown, who started the season for the Buccaneers until Glennon was ushered into the game in Week 3 due to a McCown thumb injury. This injury left Glennon as the starter for Week 4.
With 40 seconds left in the game, Glennon took the Bucs down the field for a game-winning touchdown pass to Vincent Jackson. Glennon ended the game completing 21-of-42 passes for 302 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, leading the Bucs to their first win of the season and securing Glennon the starting role. That was, until he lost the next four games, and ultimately his starting job for the remainder of the season.
Mike Glennon NFL Stats
|Passing||Pass Distance||Big Pass Games||Fumbles|
Glennon finished his short second season with seemingly sufficient stats: 83.3 passer rating, 57.6 percent completion rate, 1,417 passing yards, 10 touchdowns and six interceptions. He also averaged 16.9 fantasy points per game in standard leagues. While these stats aren’t eye-popping, they’re comparatively strong given the blistering Bucs offense Glennon relied on. At the very least, and especially in a 2QB league, it paints a picture of a fairly reliable QB3 with high-upside, depending on the match-up.
Mike Glennon Fantasy/Red Zone Stats
|Fantasy Points/G||Passing Stats||Red Zone Passes|
What’s most interesting about these stats is that, between the two consecutive seasons, Glennon was sacked 56 times! 56 times in only 19 games across two seasons. Yet, he still managed to put up double-digit points for fantasy owners. One can assume with a more sufficient O-line, Glennon’s points per game would have vastly improved.
Glennon has a nice TD:INT ratio (30-15), which helps his resume as a viable quarterback option. On paper, Glennon checks off a lot of boxes – he’s the right age (27), he has experience as both a starter and backup in the NFL, and has sufficient upside (he did lead the Bucs to three comeback wins in his tenure), making him a viable consideration for a quarterback-vacant team.
On the other hand, his under-60 completion percentage and average yards per attempt of 6.51 are discomforting. His record as a starter is an absurd 5-13. He often struggles under pressure in the pocket, which doesn’t pair up well with his slow release. It must be discussed that if Glennon gets a starting job somewhere, is he going to have a long enough leash to finish the season?
There is still time for Glennon to develop into an NFL caliber starter. With the right coaches around him, Glennon can become more consistent. He has shown bright spots and in the right situation, with a strong O-line and a more than competent running game, he can succeed. But really, isn’t that what every quarterback wants?
Potential Landing Spots
It’s hard to find the perfect landing spot for Mike Glennon, especially with reports rumoring Glennon to land in spots I don’t find as great fits.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 1, 2017
If I had to choose between these two franchises, the more ideal fit for Mike Glennon and fantasy owners would be the Chicago Bears.
While the Bears don’t have many positions that couldn’t use an upgrade, there are two they are looking to fill with their $60 million in cap space: cornerback and quarterback. If Glennon’s behind center, he could feel comfortable in the pocket with the Bears’ 15th-ranked ranked offensive line, per Pro Football Focus. It needs work but has talent; more talent than Glennon has seen in the past or would see with the Jets. And between Jordan Howard and Jeremy Langford, Glennon will have some help from his running backs as well. What’s more, the Bears might not be done with Alshon Jeffrey just yet, adding incredible value to Glennon’s passing game.
The #Bears and FA WR Alshon Jeffery's agent had a positive meeting today, I'm told. Both sides are more than open to a reunion….
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 4, 2017
Don’t get me wrong, the Bears aren’t suddenly going to look like a winning team just by adding Glennon to it, but they have the pieces that will make Glennon a stronger quarterback, especially for fantasy owners. Depending on what else the Bears can do through free agency and the draft, I believe Glennon has potential to be a QB2, especially in deeper leagues, with the Bears. If Jay Culter can average 17 fantasy points per game in 2015 at 32 years of age, with 11 interceptions and five fumbles, I have complete faith in Glennon being a reliable QB2 with the opportunity to become a valuable fantasy quarterback in the coming years.
On the other side, there is no doubt the NJ Jets are interested in Glennon, having contacted Tampa Bay last year to discuss trade options for him and there is a clear vacancy at the position. With Geno Smith and Ryan Fitzpatrick about to enter free agency, both without having provided substantial value for the team thus far, the only quarterbacks under contract entering the Jets’ 2017 season are Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg. Neither have proven to be a starter, leaving the Jets in desperate need of a franchise quarterback, among many other things.
In a #That’sSoJets move, the Jets actually drafted Geno Smith ahead of Glennon (34 slots) to initially become their franchise quarterback. If NY were to get a second chance, Glennon would be starting on a team in the midst of a total rebuild. In the offseason thus far, they’ve released Nick Mangold, Darrelle Revis, and Brandon Marshall. All releases make sense and have cleared massive amounts of cap space to bring on young talent and a quarterback looking to get paid.
While Glennon will certainly get his asking price if a deal with the Jets were to take place, he would have to exercise a lot of patience to turn the Jets back into a winning team. He’d also have to stand behind an offensive line ranked 26th in 2016, unless the Jets can draft several young, strong rookies. With Glennon on the Jets, I wouldn’t see him worth much to fantasy owners past what he was in 2013. There’s potential two or three years down the road, but the Jets have a long way to go.
Time Will Tell
We will have our answers soon enough, with free agency officially starting March 9 and organizations desperate to lock in starting quarterbacks. While there are several teams desperate for a franchise quarterback, the same can be said for fantasy owners. Hopefully Glennon’s fate can help both forms of ownership.