NDIANAPOLIS – To the surprise of no one, the Bears will release backup quarterback Mike Glennon on March 14 rather than pay him $13.5 million in 2018 to back up Mitch Trubisky.
The Bears still are on the hook for the remaining $2.5 million in guaranteed money that came with Glennon’s three-year, $45 million deal a year ago, but they’ll realize a net savings of $11 million this year and another $14 million in 2019.
“I’ve talked to Mike a lot recently, (and) there’s a mechanism in his contract where we really can’t release him until the start of the new league year,” general manager Ryan Pace said. “So that’s kind of our plan going forward. We’ve been transparent with Mike, and that’s how that will play out.”
Glennon lasted only four games as the starter last season before he was replaced by Mitch Trubisky. Glennon went 1-3 as the starter, throwing four TD passes and five interceptions, while completing 93 of 140 passes for 833 yards and a 76.9 passer rating.
The Bears are debating what they’ll do for depth behind Trubisky in 2018. Mark Sanchez, who was the No. 3 quarterback last year, has told Pace he’s interested in returning, but he could test free agency.
“He did a good job (last) year,” Pace said of Sanchez, who served as a mentor to Trubisky. “All the things we value with him, like his veteran leadership and his experiences. Those are all evaluations that are ongoing.”
Coach Matt Nagy said the team remains undecided about which direction it will take.
“We’re in the middle of it,” Nagy said. “We’ve gone the route of having a more experienced guy; a veteran backup there. We’ve also gone the route of having a younger guy there. We just have to see how this whole thing plays out here in the next few weeks and months. But Ryan and I, again, part of the communication process, we have a direction and a way we think we’re going to go. But we’ll keep that between us.”
Trait-wise, Pace knows what he’s looking for.
“First of all, you need to be able to come in and win if something happens,” Pace said. “We just saw that in the Super Bowl. But the chemistry in that room is important. You’re there for the starter. You’re in a supportive role to help him grow. We have a younger quarterback, so we have to be mindful of who we pair with him in that room.”
No more room to run: After 10 years, 9,796 rushing yards on 2,356 carries and 554 receptions for 4,672 yards – most of it with the Bears – New York Jets running back Matt Forte is retiring.
The Bears’ second-round pick out of Tulane in 2008, Forte had five 1,000-yard rushing seasons, all during his eight years (2008-15) in Chicago. He also had a 102-catch season (for 808 yards) in 2014. At 32, Forte is ancient by NFL running back standards, and he managed only 381 yards on 108 carries in his second year with the Jets in 2017.