LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- When an NFL player leaves a team, it’s usually because he’s no longer wanted.
Mike Glennon’s departure from Tampa has a different feel to it.
Sure, the Bucs drafted Jameis Winston first overall in 2015 -- effectively ending any quarterback debate in Tampa for the next decade -- but they offered Glennon a substantial amount of money to stay as the backup.
Glennon instead bolted to Chicago, where he received a three-year deal with $16 million guaranteed in 2017 -- before the Bears drafted Mitchell Trubisky second overall.
“I knew I wanted to be a starting quarterback but I really enjoyed it down there,” Glennon said on Wednesday. “I had great relationships with the front office, head coach, coaches, players, definitely a place that I wouldn’t have minded staying. But obviously as a competitor you want to go somewhere where you can play. I have a lot of respect for a lot of people in that building and I think they’re going to be a good football team.
“They definitely expressed their interest in it but they also knew that it wasn’t likely. So it wasn’t a ton of conversation. I knew how they felt about me. They knew how I felt about them and respected them, but they also knew my eagerness to go somewhere to play.”
Originally a third-round draft choice by the Bucs, Glennon started 18 games from 2013-14 (29 touchdown passes and 15 interceptions), but made just two regular-season appearances after the club installed Winston as the starter in 2015.
“There were a lot of ups and downs for sure,” Glennon said. “I didn’t win as many games as I would have liked, but as far as just all the relationships built and learning more about football it was a great experience and definitely one that I look back and say I enjoyed my time there.”
The Bears need Glennon to build upon how he ended the Falcons game. For much of Week 1, Glennon looked like a pedestrian quarterback with little chance of making a game-changing play. But, to Glennon’s credit, he responded on the game’s final two drives and even had the offense on the brink of victory until the Bears failed on four chances to score from the 5-yard line.
Glennon finished 26-of-40 for 213 yards and one touchdown.
Glennon also didn’t commit a turnover in Week 1. That seemed to win him major points with offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains.
“Obviously the game, No. 1 was, we didn't turn it over,” Loggains said. “We talked about it all week, how important it was against that team not to turn the football over, because the way they run to the ball, they swarm. But to get it to the two-minute drive, that was our goal the whole time. We felt like we could win it in the end. Mike managed the clock, managed the team, and really managed the game.
"When I say managed the game, sometimes that phrase can be misconstrued. When I say managed the game, he did exactly what he needed to do to play the game we detailed out to him -- how we thought we could win the game and what was best for us and that matchup, that game. He handled all the situations and did a really good job.”