The Chicago Bears moved up to select Mitch Trubisky in the 2017 NFL draft, but the rookie quarterback isn’t rising the depth chart despite a few encouraging performances this preseason.
And according to head coach John Fox, per Dan Wiederer of the Chicago Tribune, the Bears are still counting on Mike Glennon.
“Obviously we haven’t changed our depth chart for some time now,” Fox said after Chicago’s win over the Tennessee Titans. “I don’t anticipate that happening.”
The Bears signed Glennon to a three-year, $45 million deal in free agency, and the prevailing thought was he’ll be the short-term starter. However, Trubisky has since taken the preseason by storm.
In three appearances, the North Carolina product has posted a 70.8 completion percentage on 48 throws with 354 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. Glennon has managed a 59.1 completion mark in 44 attempts with 243 yards, two scores and two picks.
From an outside perspective, even with the drop in competition between Glennon and Trubisky, the veteran isn’t the obvious choice. And since the gap isn’t large, the future of the franchise should play.
Sure, it’s not ideal to pay a backup quarterback $15 million, but if the level of execution won’t be drastically different, Trubisky gaining regular-season experience will only help the Bears moving forward.
The “sit him and let him develop” approach is flawed. If Trubisky doesn’t start in 2017, he’ll essentially be a rookie when he eventually takes over anyway. Scattered snaps in garbage time this season are both not guaranteed and not as meaningful as playing against first-stringers.
Plus, Chicago could release Glennon following the 2017 campaign and only be subject to $4.5 million in dead cap, according to Spotrac. One year of a bad contract for a backup is better than struggling with Glennon this season and dealing with Trubisky’s growing pains in 2018.
Fox doesn’t anticipate the switch, but he must not be resistant to making the change when the Bears aren’t winning with Glennon under center.