Despite trade speculation, backup QB Mike Glennon remains in Tampa

TAMPA, Fla. -- Backup quarterback Mike Glennon remains with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, despite offseason speculation that he could be traded during the NFL draft.

Clearly, Glennon has reached his ceiling in Tampa with Jameis Winston as the Bucs’ answer behind center. Still, Glennon boasts 18 starts since the Buccaneers took him in the third round in 2013. Tampa Bay coach Dirk Koetter knows the NC State product holds value.

“If it would have been the best thing for the team -- if the right situation was up where a trade would have been in the best interests of the Bucs, of course it would have had to [happen],” Koetter said Saturday. “We’ve been telling Mike that all along, but that opportunity wasn’t there. And as I’ve said multiple times, I believe Mike Glennon is an NFL starting quarterback. And unfortunately for him, he’s going to have to wait. But fortunately for us, we’re going to have him as our No. 2. It’s a great position for us to be in.”

Glennon is entering the final season of his four-year, $3.1 million contract. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent after next season, and it’s likely he’ll receive offers to compete for a starting job elsewhere in 2017.

“Mike’s a Buc, and I’m glad he’s a Buc, and so is Dirk and everybody here,” Bucs general manager Jason Licht said. “So the value of that backup quarterback -- we’re lucky to have him. Hopefully, he can be here for a while. But we know we’ve got him this year.”

On the surface, trading Glennon has made sense since Winston walked into One Buccaneer Place last year. Still, Licht and Koetter understand how important it is to have a capable backup if Winston goes down.

As recently as 2014, Licht and former coach Lovie Smith considered Glennon the Bucs’ quarterback of the future. But everything changed after a disastrous 2-14 season that year, which allowed Tampa Bay to take Winston first overall last April.

Still, Glennon has a notable résumé. He has thrown for 4,025 yards with 29 touchdowns and 15 interceptions in 19 games. The Bucs’ other reserve quarterbacks, Ryan Griffin and Dan LeFevour, have never started a regular-season game.

“Hopefully, nothing ever happens to Jameis where we need it, and Mike feels the same way,” Koetter said. “But if we did need to put a second quarterback in there, we’re capable of winning games with Mike Glennon at quarterback. … I can’t imagine there are many teams that have a better one-two punch at quarterback than we do.”