Saturday, December 16, 2017
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs confirm trade interest in backup QB Mike Glennon

BOCA RATON — The quarterback carousel still is spinning in the NFL and several teams continue to show interest in trading for Bucs backup Mike Glennon, general manager Jason Licht confirmed Monday at the NFL owners meeting.

Glennon, who did not play a snap behind starter Jameis Winston last season, will be an unrestricted free agent next spring.

"There's always interest. It's not a secret," Licht said. "We'll see how it goes. We've got some time and this is something that could go all the way to the draft."

The Jets, who have not re-signed starter Ryan Fitzpatrick, reportedly have inquired about Glennon. But Licht disputed a claim by WFAN host Mike Francesa that the Bucs demanded a No. 1 pick for Glennon.

"That's not true," Licht said. "I mean, I tell them what I think he's worth. … I say, 'This is what we might consider.' But that's not necessarily true. I don't want to discuss that. I don't want to go public with that.

"It's false that I've been calling every team saying I need a first (-round pick). I haven't been calling every team. Even with those that have inquired, it's been, 'Let's keep talking.' It hasn't been, 'We need this.' "

Licht said the Bucs also would be content to keep Glennon. They also have third-stringer Ryan Griffin. If Glennon leaves after 2016, the Bucs likely would receive a fourth- or fifth-round compensatory pick.

"Right now, we're happy (Glennon) is on our roster," Licht said. "I feel very good about the fact we have two good young quarterbacks."

In fact, the Bucs have discussed trying to sign Glennon to a two-year extension, likely for at least $6 million a year. But with Winston entrenched as the quarterback, it's unlikely Glennon would tether himself to the Bucs in a league desperate for signal-callers.

Glennon, 26, started 13 games as a rookie after Tampa Bay drafted him in the third round in 2013 out of North Carolina State. He compiled a 4-9 record, completing 59.4 percent of his passes for 2,608 yards, 19 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

But the next season, thencoach Lovie Smith brought in Josh McCown to start. The 6-foot-6, 225-pound Glennon still appeared in six games and threw for 57.6 completion percentage, 1,417 yards, 10 touchdowns and six interceptions as the team went a league-worst 2-14. That earned the Bucs the No. 1 overall pick in 2015, and they took Winston.

Before a market can develop for Glennon, some dominoes have to fall. The 49ers are willing to deal Colin Kaepernick; former Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III has visited the Jets and could be in play with the Browns. Denver lost Peyton Manning to retirement and Brock Osweiler to Houston in free agency.

During a 15-minute break at the owners' meetings, Licht said the free-agent signings of cornerback Brent Grimes, 32, defensive end Robert Ayers, 30, and linebacker Darryl Smith, 34 — now the three oldest players on the defense — won't prevent the Bucs from using the top pick at those spots. Cornerback and edge rusher remain long-term needs.

"We still have to do that," Licht said. "If there's a great player at whatever position it is, we're not going to say, 'Well, we signed Player X so we don't need to draft that position now.' It allows us to truly stick to our plan, which is best available player."

The Bucs have been linked to some top pass rushers in the draft, such as Clemson's Shaq Lawson, Oregon's DeForest Buckner and Eastern Kentucky's Noah Spence, plus top cornerbacks that include Wharton High grad and Florida star Vernon Hargreaves.

"Well, I think these guys can play, otherwise we wouldn't have signed them, gone after them, targeted them," Licht of the Bucs' free agents. "No matter where your football team is, you always have to have a long-term plan. Whether you bring some bridges in or not, you're still looking long term. These players that are perceived as bridges, I think they're going to help us in the long term, like (recently retired guard) Logan Mankins was invaluable to us. The tone he set in the offensive line room with those two rookies (Ali Marpet and Donovan Smith), it's going to carry on throughout their careers."

Times staff writer Greg Auman contributed to this report. Contact Rick Stroud at [email protected] and listen from 6 to 9 a.m. weekdays on WDAE-AM 620. View his blog at tampabay.com/blogs/bucs.

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