TAMPA, Fla. -- Tampa Bay Buccaneers backup quarterback Mike Glennon is headed to the Chicago Bears, sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter, meaning the Bucs will have a new backup quarterback next season behind Jameis Winston and Glennon will get an opportunity to start for the first time since 2014.
Terms: Three years, $45 million with $19 million guaranteed from the Bears
The Bucs offered to pay Glennon more than $7 million per season to become the league's highest-paid backup. It's a testament to his experience as a starter, his team-first attitude, his work ethic and his ability to win games. It shows how much they valued him. But that's too much for a backup quarterback, even with starting experience. That's not a knock on Glennon either, who handled some pretty tough situations in Tampa -- the benching of starter Josh Freeman, being relegated to the bench himself despite outplaying Josh McCown in 2014, and the Bucs drafting Winston with the first-overall pick -- with a lot of class.
What it means: For the Bucs, this means Winston will no longer have a solid safety net in Glennon, who had seen action in 21 games with 18 starts. That leaves Ryan Griffin and Sean Renfree to compete for the backup spot. The Bucs saw enough from Griffin last preseason and the previous year to keep him as a third quarterback on the 53-man roster last year since he was no longer eligible for the practice squad. Renfree served as Matt Ryan's backup with Atlanta in 2014 and 2015, so he has strong familiarity with Dirk Koetter's offense.
What’s the risk: Without Glennon, they'll have a big dropoff in experience behind Winston. Is that a concern? Winston has been very durable in his young NFL career, starting all 32 games the last two seasons. He did have to leave the game in Week 9 against the Atlanta Falcons due to a knee injury. The Bucs lost 48-23 and his exit appeared more precautionary than anything, as he practiced all week after.
Renfree, who will be 27 next season, has seen action in two career games, while Griffin, 27, hasn't taken a regular-season snap. There really wasn't a wow factor with him last preseason either, and at times, he struggled, although he was playing with mostly second- and thring-string receivers. In four preseason games last year, he completed 43-of-74 passes (58.1 percent) for 429 yards, a touchdown and four interceptions.
ESPN's Adam Caplan reported that the Bucs tendered Griffin at the lowest restricted free agent level of $1.8 million. They are, however, interested in extending his contract.
When general manager Jason Licht met with reporters last week at the NFL combine last week and was asked about their backup quarterback situation, he merely mentioned Griffin and Renfree and did not discuss the possibility of drafting one. But Licht and Koetter are both big believers in competition, so if the opportunity presented itself at some point, it shouldn't be ruled out.