It’s NFL free agency week, which means good luck to anyone trying to distinguish the smokescreens from reality and OMG WTF LOL:
Man, I love that tweet. It’s mind-bending to think we live in a world in which Mike Glennon might make 15 million dollars to throw footballs. But the reality is that it’s absolutely possible some NFL team might be dumb enough to make this happen.
Not familiar with Mike Glennon? Totally understandable. He’s just a guy. After the Bucs drafted him in the 2013 third round, Glennon made 18 starts in his first two seasons before being relegated to holding a clipboard for Jameis Winston. Glennon did have a fine TD:INT ratio of 29:15 in 2013-14, but his passer rating was just 83.7 and his adjusted yards per attempt was only 6.3. Glennon last started in Week 9 of 2014, when he was benched for Josh McCown. Since then, Glennon has thrown 11 passes total the last two seasons, and all 11 came during garbage time in a blowout loss last November.
But because there are not enough asses and too many seats for competent NFL quarterbacks, Glennon right now has that it factor, which in this context means he hasn’t yet proven himself to be butt. This afternoon, Charles Robinson of Yahoo shed some light on how some NFL personnel people view Glennon heading into free agency:
Two things stuck out when speaking to NFL evaluators about Glennon—one good and one bad. The upside is Glennon’s limited amount of tape is twice the size of what teams had on [Brock] Osweiler a year ago (630 pass attempts for Glennon versus 305 for Osweiler). And despite that offering mostly coming in 2013 and 2014, Glennon’s 18 starts apparently give a solid impression of what he has to work with. When teams saw it, they saw a raw Glennon working with far poorer players around him than Osweiler, but carrying himself with far more confidence. They also saw a Buccaneers staff that wasn’t on par with what Osweiler had to work with in Denver.
So the spin becomes this: Would a team rather devote a top-10 pick to a rookie quarterback, or spend that asset elsewhere and take a veteran who has shown a solid amount of NFL tape? The answer to that often depends on salary cap space and how a franchise feels about this rookie class.
Now, the downside: There was agreement that Glennon needs to land somewhere with a sturdy offensive line, particularly at guard and center. Like most quarterbacks, Glennon was at his best when he had a chance to step into throws in a clean pocket ... and at his worst when interior pressure created problems.
Consider that teams like the Browns, Jets, and 49ers all have giant holes where their quarterbacks should be. And that the Bears and Bills might soon be in the same situation. Now consider that the low end in average annual value for 2016 starting quarterbacks no longer on rookie contracts was anywhere from $7.5 million (Robert Griffin III) to $12 million (Ryan Fitzpatrick), with the next highest AAV being Colin Kaepernick’s $15.6 million. As backups go, the Eagles are paying Chase Daniel $7 million in AAV to warm a seat behind Carson Wentz. Now consider that the salary cap just jumped nearly eight percent, to $167 million. And that the Browns, Jets, Niners, Bears, and Bills all have a shit-ton of cap space to spend or to roll into 2018. And that none of the quarterbacks in this year’s draft class is going to excite anyone. And that the same goes for this year’s crop of free-agent QBs. And that the Bucs in the past have resisted multiple trade offers for Glennon. And that Tampa Bay has reportedly offered Glennon “a contract that would make him the highest-paid backup quarterback in the NFL.” You can see where this is going.
Consider, too, that just last year, the Texans convinced themselves that Brock Osweiler—with all of seven career starts in four seasons on his resumé—was deserving of $18 million AAV and $37 million fully guaranteed. John Elway gets a lot of credit for not jumping in with both feet and letting Osweiler walk, but he was reportedly willing to pay Osweiler more than $30 million guaranteed and more than $16 million per season. The Texans simply outbid him. All of a sudden, it’s a lot easier to think we live in a world in which Mike Glennon might command $15 million AAV. The devil with any deal Glennon might sign will be in the guaranteed money that’s included in the fine print. But never underestimate an NFL team’s ability to panic itself into thinking it might be a good idea to pay Mike Glennon that kind of money.