Friday, January 19, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Jones: Smart to trade Bucs' Glennon now, but don't count on it

TAMPA — Mike Glennon took the field Wednesday night at quarterback for the Bucs in their final preseason game. If things work out just right, it will be Glennon's final game in a Tampa Bay uniform.

The Bucs should trade him. As soon as possible. Or at least as soon as they can get something decent for him. By decent, I mean a third-round pick. Maybe even a fourth.

Could they trade him? Maybe. Will they trade him? Probably not. Should they trade him? Absolutely.

Let's start with this: A year from now, Glennon is not going to be here. He's a free agent after the season, and he wants to start in this league. That will never happen in Tampa Bay as long as nothing unfortunate happens to Jameis Winston.

So if he is going to leave after this season and has value now, why not get something decent for him while you can?

Of course, this is assuming he does have value. It takes two to trade, and there's no indication that anyone has even called the Bucs. But wouldn't you think a few teams would be interested, most notably the Vikings?

Their starting quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater, was lost for the season Tuesday with a devastating knee injury. That's a playoff team if it can find a capable quarterback to step in. Of all the possible replacements, Glennon might be the best of the bunch.

You have to think the Vikings have at least discussed the option, and they might be desperate enough to overpay. If that's the case, not only should Bucs GM Jason Licht make the deal, he should personally drive Glennon to Minnesota to make sure he gets there safely.

And there could be other teams that will soon be interested. Maybe Dak Prescott won't work out filling in for the injured Tony Romo in Dallas. Maybe Denver will realize none of its quarterbacks can play. Maybe another team loses its starter to injury.

Glennon, because of his age (26) and experience, would have to be on everyone's wish list.

Sounds simple, right? So it will happen any day now?

I wouldn't count on it.

Here's why not, and this is probably what the Bucs are thinking: What if Winston gets hurt — for a game, for two games, for longer? Then who plays?

With Glennon, you have a guy who is not going to hyperventilate when told to grab a helmet and get in there. He has started 18 NFL games. Every team wants a reliable backup quarterback, and the Bucs have one in Glennon. So why ship him to another team and give the backup job to Ryan Griffin, who has never taken a snap in a regular-season game?

But this is where things get complicated.

The only reason you refuse to trade Glennon is if you think you're a team that's good enough to make the playoffs and, if things break just right, make a deep postseason run. In that case, you need Glennon to get you through a stretch in the event Winston goes down.

Maybe Licht and coach Dirk Koetter think they have a team that good. They at least have to act like they do.

Some of us don't think the Bucs are that good, yet. Even with Winston, I don't believe this is a playoff team. If Winston goes down, I think the season goes to pot, even with Glennon. With Winston, this feels like a six- or seven-win team. Without Winston, no matter his replacement, it seems like a four- or five-win team, at best.

See, that's the other part of this scenario. Is Glennon really that good? His reputation around the league might be better than his actual talent. He's 5-13 as a starter.

To be fair, he was surrounded by a bad team when he played. But if he was so good, if his future was so bright, why did the Bucs sign Josh McCown in 2014 and a year later draft Winston?

For all we know, the Bucs like Griffin better. But he's unproven, and that's why you swallow hard before trading Glennon. Trading Glennon means you would hold your breath every time Winston drops back to pass. But doesn't every NFL team do that when its starter sits in the pocket?

You can't blame Licht and Koetter for being a little gun-shy about letting Glennon go. You can't blame them for fearing their team ends up going 2-14 with Griffin if Winston was to be lost for the season.

For that reason, don't be shocked if Glennon stays in Tampa Bay. For now, anyway.

The good news is it gives the Bucs a decent backup quarterback. The bad news is it probably doesn't make a difference.

Trade him. Maybe someone will give you the world. Maybe you can get a second-round pick for him.

Then you could draft another kicker.

 
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