The Bears erased three mistakes in free agency from 2017 when they cut quarterback Mike Glennon, wide receiver Markus Wheaton and cornerback Marcus Cooper on Wednesday, the team announced.
Glennon was a major disappointment after signing a three-year, $45 million contract, with $18 million guaranteed, last year to be the unchallenged starting quarterback. He struggled from the outset and was benched in favor of rookie Mitch Trubisky after throwing four touchdown passes and five interceptions — plus two lost fumbles — in four games. The Bears were 1-3 in his four starts.
“I have no regrets in us being aggressive in attacking that position — it’s that important,” Bears general manager Ryan Pace said after the season. “.We all felt confident in Mike and sometimes in our business, things don’t work out.”
Wheaton also was a bit of a surprise addition, signing a two-year, $11 million contract with $6 million guaranteed after playing just three games in an injury-plagued 2016 season. He had an appendectomy early in training camp, then suffered a broken finger and struggled to make an impact in the Bears’ offense when he was healthy. He caught three passes for 51 yards and no touchdowns in 11 games.
Cooper had a difficult 2017 season as well. He lost his starting job after four games when Kyle Fuller emerged as a starter and Prince Amukamara returned from an injury. He biggest play was dubious — a 73-yard return of a blocked field goal against the Steelers in which he slowed to a near halt at the 1-yard line and had the ball stripped from him for a fumble — turning a sure touchdown into a field goal. He said he misjudged the goal line. It was the kind of season for the Bears, and no surprise they have moved on.