The Buccaneers have had every opportunity to make Mike Glennon their quarterback of the future. They could have done so last offseason, when Glennon was coming off an impressive rookie showing, throwing 19 touchdowns to just 9 interceptions. Instead, they signed career backup Josh McCown.
Still, they had the chance to at least give Glennon a legitimate shot to win the starting job in training camp. Instead, they basically made McCown the starter heading into the season.
It was clear what Lovie Smith’s intentions were. He wanted a team that played good defense, ran the ball, and had a veteran quarterback who wouldn’t commit turnovers. This was why Smith wanted McCown to be his starter despite the fact that he is less talented than Glennon in just about every way.
But three weeks into the season, nothing was going according to plan. The defense wasn’t playing well, and McCown was performing like a rookie, forcing passes and turning the ball over on some terrible decisions. He injured the thumb on his throwing hand against the Falcons and would be out for several weeks as a result.
At that point, the Buccaneers had to turn to Glennon. They should have done so for the remainder of the season. Instead, they gave Glennon 5 starts and refused to give him the job. They viewed him as a placeholder until McCown returned. After a Week 9 loss to the Browns, Glennon didn’t throw another pass all season.
What made Lovie Smith’s decision so strange was the fact that the Buccaneers were 1-7 when they turned back to McCown. While their postseason hopes were technically still alive because they played in the worst division in the NFL, the writing was on the wall. This was not a playoff team.
To be fair to Lovie Smith, the Buccaneers were only 3 games out of first place with 8 left to play. But Glennon wasn’t playing poorly at all. In fact, he showed lots of promise during his 5 starts, just like he had during his rookie season. If Lovie Smith truly viewed Glennon as Tampa Bay’s quarterback of the future as he said last offseason, this was the perfect situation to let him develop. Even if Smith didn’t have the future in mind, Glennon was also more talented and executing better than McCown. He gave Tampa Bay a better chance to win in the short term.
Inexplicably, Smith stuck with McCown. The Buccaneers finished the season 2-14 and now hold the top pick in this year’s draft.
The Buccaneers clearly have no intention of making Glennon their future. If they do, then they have proven themselves to be less competent at developing quarterbacks than the New York Jets.
So where will Glennon land? It would be a shock to see the Buccaneers keep him after what happened in 2014. With the lack of quarterback talent on the free agent market this offseason, Glennon is the best option for a team looking for a starter outside of the Draft.
Glennon’s services should be in high demand because he has all of the tools needed to play the quarterback position in the NFL. He has a strong arm. He’s shown the ability to anticipate. He has a compact motion, and this gives him the ability to throw out of a confined space with bodies around him.
Glennon has 18 career starts under his belt, and he’s thrown 29 touchdowns to just 15 interceptions. That’s not a bad way to start a career. There are not 25 quarterbacks in the NFL right now who are better than him. The Buccaneers don’t see it that way, though. At least one of the other 31 teams out there should.