Bears add offensive line depth as busy Saturday of signing continues

Bears add offensive line depth as busy Saturday of signing continues

Bears fans are probably following Kyle Long on Twitter anyway, but just as an early Thursday post foreshadowed Jay Cutler's official departure later in the day, his Saturday string suggested Falcons free agent offensive tackle Tom Compton was in town. He also hinted that Vikings wideout/Pro-Bowl kick returner Cordarrelle Patterson was here as well (and he did, indeed, visit the Bears).

Compton was signed to a one-year deal to be a swing backup/competition for Charles Leno Jr. and Bobby Massie. His only season in Atlanta provided depth for the only o-line in the NFL that started all 16 games together, en route to a trip to the Super Bowl. The original sixth round pick of Washington out of South Dakota in 2012 has started 11 of 60 career games, nine of those with Washington in 2014.

That move came shortly after wide receiver Kendall Wright signed a one-year, $4 million deal to reunite with offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains, under whom he had his most success in his first two NFL seasons in Tennessee in 2012 and `13. He led Tennessee in catches (64, for 626 yards) after being selected 20th overall (the same year the Bears selected Alshon Jeffery in the second round). Next came his franchise-record 94 receptions for 1,079 yards in his sophomore campaign. But since then, the 5'10 Baylor product has seen his numbers (57, 36, and, most recently, 29 catches for 416 yards this past season) and playing time diminish, despite the drafting of Marcus Mariota in 2015. He figures to compete with Friday signee Markus Wheaton in the slot, especially if Eddie Royal is released.

The Saturday signing flurry began with three cornerbacks coming aboard. The reported agreement Friday with ex-Jaguar and Giant Prince Amukamara became official. That was followed by the re-signing of former Buccaneers second-rounder Johnthan Banks, who's been injury-prone the last couple of seasons and joined the Bears briefly at the end of last year. Then came 6'2 Marcus Cooper, who had four interceptions (one for a touchdown) in a career-high 13 starts for a second-ranked Arizona defense that was stung by injuries to the secondary.  His first three seasons were spent amidst another talented defensive backfield in Kansas City, and received a three-year deal from the Bears.

That trio joins Tracy Porter, Cre`von LeBlanc, Deiondre Hall, Kyle Fuller, Bryce Callahan, Sherrick McManus,  De'Vante Bausby and Jacoby Glenn in a cornerback group that will be heavy on competition, if not another addition at a position that is considered one of the strengths of this year's draft. Then again, it may indicate Ryan Pace may focus elsewhere in late April.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: How long will Mike Glennon last as the starting QB?


SportsTalk Live Podcast: How long will Mike Glennon last as the starting QB?

In the latest SportsTalk Live Podcast, Dan Cahill and Jordan Bernfield join Kap on the panel. 

The Cubs lineup changes continue. So which young Cub need to play every day? The guys discuss. Plus, Jim Deshaies joins the show live to discuss the state of the Cubs’ rotation.

Mike Glennon is told that this season is his. How long will that last? 

Later, Scott Paddock discusses NASCAR’s big schedule changes for 2018 and how it affects racing at Chicagoland Speedway.

Listen to this edition of the SportsTalk Live Podcast here:

Bears QB Mike Glennon makes his role emphatically clear: ‘This year is my year’

Bears QB Mike Glennon makes his role emphatically clear: ‘This year is my year’

Mike Glennon stuck to an emphatic mantra during his first meeting with the media since the Bears drafted Mitch Trubisky last month: “This year is my year.”

It wasn’t a surprising line — what else was he supposed to say? — but it was telling in the sense that Glennon didn’t appear to be rattled by the presence of Trubisky, the franchise’s presumptive quarterback of the future. Unofficially, Glennon said some version of that line a dozen times in just over 10 minutes. 

“They brought me here to be the quarterback this year and nothing has changed,” Glennon said. “So in my mind, I have to go out and play well, and I know that, and that’s basically the bottom line.”

Will Glennon work with Trubisky, the No. 2 overall pick and presumptive quarterback of the future? Yes. But is that his main focus? No. The job of developing Trubisky falls on offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains and quarterbacks coach Dave Ragone, not the guy who the Bears committed tens of millions of dollars to to play quarterback. 

Glennon said general manager Ryan Pace called him about 10 minutes after Roger Goodell announced Trubisky’s name in Philadelphia April 27 to reassure him that he would still be the Bears’ starting quarterback in 2017. Like most everyone — including Trubisky — Glennon was surprised the Bears made the pick, but the 27-year-old said he quickly re-trained his attention back on preparing for the upcoming season. 

“I’m not worried about the future,” Glennon said. “I’m not worried about the past. I’m worried about the present and right now this is my team and that’s where my focus is.”

Glennon’s three-year, $45 million deal is structured so the Bears could cut him after the 2017 season and absorb only a $2.5 million cap hit, $500,000 more than the team took on when Jay Cutler was released in March. His contract was set up that way before the Bears snuck into Chapel Hill, N.C. for a surreptitious dinner and workout with Trubisky — he’s a bridge quarterback with an opportunity to show he’s greater than that label. 

“Even if I were to (look in hindsight) I would still have came here,” Glennon said. “Like I said, this is my year. There are no guarantees in the NFL. The majority of guys in the NFL are playing year-to-year. I’m here to prove myself that I can me the quarterback this year and going forward. But right now my focus is on winning games this year.”

“… I can only say it so many times, this year has been fully communicated that it's my year,” Glennon said. “I’m not going to worry about the future. As long as I play well, it will all work out.’