By Chris Emma–
LAKE FOREST, Ill. (CBS) — Standing tall above the herd of reporters and the elephant in the room, the microphone stand pressed near his waist, Mike Glennon stated his place as the Bears’ starting quarterback over and over again.
Glennon said some 13 times in various forms that he will be leading the Bears as quarterback in 2017. But you better believe he was stunned when the team drafted Mitchell Trubisky with the second overall pick in late April.
“It was made clear to me about 10 minutes after from a call from Ryan (Pace) and the next morning again, the 2017 season is my year,” Glennon said. “That’s all I can worry about. I’m not worried about the future. I’m not worried about the past. I’m worried about the present and right now this is my team, and that’s where my focus is.”
He said it a dozen more times.
“My focus is on right now getting better every day to get ready for the start of the season because this year is my year, and I’m not going to worry about the future,” Glennon said when asked if he has regrets of joining the Bears.
“It’s been clear in the building that this year is my year, and everyone’s on board with that,” he said when asked about leading the Bears.
“I can only say it so many times, this year has been fully communicated that it’s my year,” he explained once more when asked about the future.
Glennon finally met Trubisky recently, and the two quarterbacks thrust into an awkward situation began their work together. Glennon spoke of being supportive to Trubisky and helping him develop. But the fact remains that Trubisky could run Glennon out of Chicago, perhaps after that 2017 season that’s been promised to him.
Glennon signed a three-year, $45-million deal this past March, but only $18.5 million was made guaranteed. It’s a small price to move on from Glennon to Trubisky, the same way the Buccaneers previously ditched Glennon for Jameis Winston.
Despite the circumstances, Glennon has continued to take ownership of his new team. He took receivers to a Bulls game a week after signing and went with several teammates to see Jason Aldean play two weekends ago. They’ve smoked meats on the practice field and hung out away from Halas Hall.
After losing his starting spot in Tampa, Glennon came to Chicago ready to embrace a new opportunity. But his contract presented the reality that he must perform in 2017. That was signed before Trubisky was drafted.
So Glennon has moved forward prepared to lead the Bears.
“He’s that kind of guy,” coach John Fox said. “Had the same reputation while he was in Tampa and same thing even at NC State as a college athlete. He’s kind of grabbed the bull by the horns, and I don’t expect it to change.”
Glennon will leave Chicago with a large sum of money, whether that’s $18.5 million, $45 million or more. But the reason the Bears were aggressive in trading up a spot to draft Trubisky was because they view him as their quarterback of the future.
Any alternative wouldn’t have worked for Pace — not Deshaun Watson at No. 3 or trading down to get Patrick Mahomes. They passed on Jamal Adams, Solomon Thomas and potentially transformational defensive players to get Trubisky.
When the pick came through and stunned Chicago, there was Glennon at the Bears’ team party, as shocked as everyone else.
Now the Bears move forward with Trubisky building for the future and Glennon in limbo after 2017.
“Like I said, this is my year,” Glennon said once again. “There are no guarantees in the NFL. The majority of guys in the NFL are playing year-to-year. I’m here to prove myself that I can be the quarterback this year and going forward.”