Mike Glennon will probably start at quarterback for the Giants on Sunday against the Bears.
It wasn’t too long ago that Glennon was seen as the future for the Bears, which serves as a reminder of one the NFL’s stark realities to both teams playing in this contest: It can be hard to find the right guy for the most important position on the team.
The Giants and their fans may have forgotten that after they were spoiled by a decade and a half of Eli Manning during which they won two Super Bowls and were, until the final few years, one of the league’s consistent contenders. Giant superiority at quarterback goes beyond Manning, though. When Jake Fromm took the field on Sunday it was the first time since 1992 that the team had three different starting quarterbacks in the same season.
But now they are like just about half the league or more, a have-not organization in search of a quarterback who can shepherd them to routine postseason appearances and end their skid of unacceptable results.
Maybe Daniel Jones, if he can come back from his neck sprain and get some help up front with a rebuilt offensive line, can be that player for them, but that’s far from a sure bet. Glennon, who has started three games and came in to try to mop up the mess created when Jake Fromm started in Philadelphia on Sunday, certainly doesn’t seem to be that player either.
In 2017, though, the Bears took a shot on Glennon being that guy for them. Since then, Glennon has been the Kevin Bacon of failed quarterback experiments with only a few degrees of separation between him and some of the league’s wildest swings at finding the gem that can set a franchise on the proper setting for years.
That offseason the Bears parted ways with Jay Cutler (who wasn’t that guy) and drafted Mitchell Trubisky (who also wasn’t). In between they signed Glennon to a three-year, $45 million free agency contract. Glennon was the team’s opening day starter, but he was cut the following offseason.
Before he arrived in Chicago, Glennon was the backup in Tampa Bay. He was expendable to the Bucs in 2017 because they thought they had the answer at quarterback in Jameis Winston (they did not). After his one season with the Bears, Glennon played for the Cardinals as the backup behind a rookie quarterback Arizona thought would be their future (Josh Rosen, another no). Then it was on to Oakland in 2019 where he played behind Derek Carr (we’ll see what his verdict winds up being) before Jacksonville in 2020 where he toggled playing time with Gardner Minshew (not the answer for the Jaguars, currently the backup for the Eagles) and Jake Luton (not the answer for anyone).
This season he came to the Giants to be Jones’ backup. They thought he would be an upgrade to Colt McCoy, who held that job last season. Glennon is 0-3 as a starter for the Giants and they have lost all five games in which he has appeared. McCoy, by the way, is 2-1 this year as a backup starter for the playoff-bound Cardinals, who seem to have found their guy in Kyler Murray.
The Bears are still looking for their quarterback, as they have been for decades. They traded up in the 2021 draft (with the Giants!) to select Justin Fields, but this season they also have started veterans Andy Dalton and Nick Foles, neither of whom is a long-term plan. Maybe Fields will work out for the Bears. Maybe they’ll have to keep searching.
When Glennon returns to Soldier Field on Sunday, the Bears will still be living with the same quarterback uncertainty they had when he was signed there. The Giants team he’ll be playing for this time? Like it or not, they’re in the same unsettled situation too.
They just haven’t been there as long, and like everyone else on this quest, they’re hoping they aren’t for much longer.
Notes & quotes: The Giants released Darqueze Dennard and Sam Beal from their practice squad, two defensive backs they had added last week when they were shorthanded on special teams and in the secondary because of COVID. They added TE Jake Hausmann back to the practice squad.