Figuring out all the ‘whys’ when it comes to Bears QB Mike Glennon

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Bears quarterback Mike Glennon doesn’t like what he sees from the sidelines during his team’s 29-7 loss to the Buccaneers on Sunday.(Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)

A look at how the Bears have reached a crossroads with quarterback Mike Glennon:

Why the Bears signed him

Moving on from Jay Cutler meant drafting a quarterback in April but also signing one in free agency in March. General manager Ryan Pace was determined to take multiple swings at the most important position in sports.

The Bears had high opinions of Mitch Trubisky and others, but they wanted to give whomever they selected time to develop, so they needed a veteran. Glennon and Brian Hoyer were their top options.

Hoyer was OK with being a tutor, but his price increased after starting five games for the Bears in 2016. He went 1-4 but completed 67 percent of his passes for 1,445 yards with six touchdowns and no interceptions before breaking his left (non-throwing) arm.

Hoyer was attractive to new 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan, who was Hoyer’s offensive coordinator with the Browns in 2014. While the 49ers aggressively courted Hoyer, the Bears eyed Glennon, thinking he had more upside because he was four years younger.

The Buccaneers and Jets were the competition. The Bucs offered to make Glennon the NFL’s highest-paid backup, surpassing Chase Daniel’s then-average of $7 million. In other words, Glennon’s market value was above that.

Free agency also raised Hoyer’s price. He signed a two-year, $12 million contract with the 49ers after playing for $2 million last season with the Bears.

The Bears wouldn’t be outbid for Glennon. They needed him to make their plan for their rookie — whomever he was — work. Glennon signed a three-year, $45 million contract but was guaranteed only one year and $18.5 million.

His $15 million annual average ranks 21st among quarterbacks. Trubisky is 23rd at approximately $7.3 million.

Why they had hope

The Bears’ research told them Glennon was an exemplary teammate through tough situations with North Carolina State and the Bucs. He also was determined to prove himself.

That gave the Bears confidence he would be able to handle the arrival of a rookie, though that’s now extremely debatable.

On the field, the Bears surely saw shortcomings in Glennon. The hope, though, was that Glennon’s determination and experience would help compensate for those deficiencies.

The Bears also had faith in their offensive situation. They thought stability at quarterback would make them markedly better after using Cutler, Hoyer and Matt Barkley last season and going 3-13.

Glennon was sacked at a high rate with the Bucs, but the Bears allowed the seventh-fewest sacks in the league in 2016. Jordan Howard also was the NFL’s second-leading rusher.

Why things broke down

The early signs were positive. Glennon was the leader the Bears hoped he would be. He organized throwing sessions at Deerfield High School and in Florida, which Trubisky attended. Teammates legitimately bought into him as a leader.

But Glennon struggled to stack good practices together during training camp, and the situation for him deteriorated. Guard Kyle Long’s surgically repaired right ankle required more time, and an emergency appendectomy and a broken pinkie sidelined receiver Markus Wheaton.

The situation worsened during the preseason. Losing receiver Cam Meredith (torn anterior cruciate ligament in left knee) was a devastating blow. He was the one receiver Glennon had developed a real rapport with before the regular season. Without Meredith, the offense changed two weeks before the regular season opened.

Losing receiver Kevin White (broken left shoulder blade) in Week 1 only made matters worse. Certain plays were scrapped from the offense because of their injuries.

Why change is needed

It’s simple: Glennon has committed eight turnovers and is the No. 1 reason the Bears are 1-3.

The Bears signed him with the best intentions, but he hasn’t been able to overcome the parts around him. His limitations are obvious when the situation — in general or on any given play — isn’t ideal.

Maintaining a message of accountability in the locker room starts with benching Glennon.


MORRISSEY: Did Ryan Pace think or drink before signing Mike Glennon?

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