The Buccaneers unloaded strong safety Mark Barron, the team’s first-round pick in 2012, to St. Louis in a trade for fourth- and sixth-round picks in the 2015 NFL Draft. Tampa Bay also dealt linebacker Jonathan Casillas and their sixth-round pick to New England for the Patriots’ fifth-rounder.
With the NFL Draft less than three months away, what other Buccaneers could be dealt in an effort to stockpile picks and fill the team’s many holes by rebuilding through the draft? Over the next three days, PewterReport.com will look at the top three players that could be on the trading block this spring, starting with quarterback Mike Glennon, who has started 19 games over the past two seasons.
Why There Is A Market For Glennon
After starting 13 games as a rookie, Glennon got off to a hot start before cooling off in the month of December, finishing with 2,608 passing yards with a respectable 19 touchdowns and nine interceptions. The North Carolina State product compiled a QB rating of 83.9 while completing 59.4 percent of his passes.
With the new Bucs’ regime bringing in veteran starter Josh McCown from Chicago, where he had a previous relationship with head coach Lovie Smith, Glennon did not the chance to compete for the starting job. Yet during the third game of the season, Glennon was forced into the lineup after McCown severely sprained his right thumb, which would knock him out of action for the next five games.
Glennon engineered a comeback win at Pittsburgh the following week, but lost his next four starts while completing 57.6 percent of his passes for 1,417 yards with 10 touchdowns and six interceptions. The fact that Glennon has played in 19 NFL games over the past two seasons, while passing for 4,025 yards with 29 touchdowns and 15 interceptions makes him an attractive quarterback to deal, especially in a year where finding a good quarterback in free agency or the NFL Draft – outside of top picks Florida State’s Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota – is rare.
Having graduated with a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in just four years speaks to Glennon’s intelligence. He has a strong enough arm to make all of the throws, and has plenty of height at 6-foot-6 to throw over the offensive line. Glennon has yet to have the opportunity to compete for the starting job and take reps with the first-team offense in training camp and the preseason in his two years in Tampa Bay, which has stunted his growth. Some quarterback-needy NFL teams have to view Glennon with a lot of upside.
Why The Bucs May Want To Keep Glennon
Glennon has proven to be a decent backup-type quarterback in the NFL thus far, and with better offensive line play, he might have what it takes to develop into a starting-caliber passer with more time to throw and more experience. The Bucs’ brass believes in having a backup quarterback that is good enough to step in and win some games and not have a season automatically go down the tubes if the starter is lost for several games with an injury.
Tampa Bay general manager Jason Licht surely paid attention to Arizona this past year where his good friends and former teammates Bruce Arians and Cardinals general manager Steve Keim saw quarterback Carson Palmer get the team off to a 9-1 start before tearing his ACL. The Cardinals struggled at quarterback and went 2-5 down the stretch, including a 27-16 loss in the playoffs to Seattle in which Arizona gained just 77 yards of total offense.
New offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter has a reputation for developing pocket passers and has already praised Glennon, suggesting he has some Matt Ryan-like qualities. While Koetter’s offense thrived with an upper echelon quarterback like Ryan in Atlanta, he’s had success before with less talented quarterbacks in Jacksonville like David Garrard and Quinn Gray, in addition to the likes of Sam Keller, Andrew Walter and Rudy Carpenter at Arizona State.
What Should The Bucs Do With Glennon?
Unless Licht can really get something of real value for Glennon, such as a third-round pick at least, the Bucs may be better off hanging on to the third-year quarterback for another year. If Tampa Bay can finagle a third-rounder – or better yet, a second-round pick – it should pull the trigger and deal Glennon for two reasons.
The first of which is that Tampa Bay plans on drafting a quarterback – likely Winston, but possibly Mariota. That selection will be the true franchise quarterback of the future – not Glennon. With several holes to fill on a 2-14 football team, the Bucs would be better off turning a backup quarterback into a high draft pick that could used on a potential starting offensive lineman, defensive player or wide receiver.
The second reason is that Glennon was not thrilled that he didn’t get the chance to compete for the starting job upon McCown’s arrival, nor was he happy that he got benched for McCown down the stretch. Glennon does not want to be a backup quarterback in Tampa Bay or anywhere, and probably would not be as helpful to or welcoming of Winston or Mariota as an older veteran like McCown would be.
Glennon may not be dealt prior to the draft, but he could be traded during the draft outright or packaged in a deal with another draft pick to move up a round or within a round. With the team prepared to spend a first-round pick on a quarterback, Glennon’s days in Tampa Bay appear to be numbered.
However, the Bucs like Glennon too much to just give him away. The price has to be right for Glennon to get the opportunity to go elsewhere to compete for the right to start.
Scott Reynolds is in his 25th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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