The Chicago Bears officially ended the Jay Cutler era with his release Wednesday, replacing the veteran with former Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Mike Glennon.
Cutler’s replacement inked a three-year deal that will pay him approximately $14.5 million a year to find out just what Glennon can bring to the table.
The gangling Glennon started 13 games as a rookie way back in 2013 and was fairly respectable. His second year didn’t show much progress, ultimately leading to being benched after five starts in favor of Josh McCown. Eventually, Jameis Winston was drafted, and the writing on the wall went from being in crayon to a deep carving.
With 18 starts under his belt, Glennon remains rather untested. He had the benefit of learning under a bright offensive mind in Dirk Koetter, however. For teams looking to chance it on a potential free-agent boon, Glennon had to rank among the best players worthy of investment. He completed 59.4 percent of his passes and threw twice as many touchdown passes as interceptions on 630 career attempts as a Buc.
The glaring question starts and ends with weaponry … because there isn’t much to work with in Chicago these days. Despite having a quality offensive line and potentially responsive running game, the loss of wide receiver Alshon Jeffery to the Philadelphia Eagles leaves the cupboard barren.
Wide receiver Kevin White is immensely talented and equally injury-prone. Eddie Royal remains on the roster despite having played only 18 of the last 32 games. Cameron Meredith flashed in 2016, so at least he has some upside to offer. Veteran Rueben Randle is looking to resurrect his career. Otherwise, yeah … that’s about it. Look for the Bears to make modest moves to improve the group via free agency and the NFL draft.
Update: Within minutes of publication, Chicago added former Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Markus Wheaton to its stable. Wheaton, presumably, will take Royal’s spot and meets the “modest” label in the last paragraph.
Fantasy football outlook
Expecting anything notable from Glennon in 2017 is asking too much. This new Bear appears destined for mediocrity — at least in the short term — if Chicago does not immediately upgrade his cast of targets.
Chicago will try to put Glennon in situations that limit his exposure to failure by pounding the ball and picking his spots. He figures to be a cautious, game-managing type with virtually no upside in fantasy football. Owners in conventional setups should leave him on the wire come draft day.