In the fluid hours leading up to the official opening of the period when teams can begin negotiating contracts with free agents, the way abruptly appeared to be clearing for the Bears in their push for quarterback Mike Glennon, to the point where they might be bidding just against themselves.
The Buffalo Bills, New York Jets and San Francisco 49ers have indicated that they have removed themselves from contract competition for Glennon, an NFL source with information from those organizations told CSNChicago.com.
At the same time, teams are believed to be preparing a run at Brian Hoyer, whose brief time with the Bears appeared to have effectively ended with no sign of a contract in sight.
Whether teams have soured on Glennon because of preferred alternatives, second thoughts or guesstimates of his eventual cost (between $14 million and $15 million by some accounts), the result might be the same: a price break for the Bears. A question has been why or whether Glennon would be worth a multiple of the expected $4 million to $5 million price for Hoyer. If bidders have gone elsewhere, the Glennon price for the Bears drops significantly below what Glennon has hoped for as part of a chance to secure a starting job.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht told Sirius XM radio last week during the NFL Scouting Combine that Glennon had declined an offer of an extension some time ago. The offer, first reported by the Tampa Bay Times, would have eclipsed the $7 million the Philadelphia Eagles gave Chase Daniel and would have made Glennon the highest-paid NFL backup.
The 49ers have entertained hopes of a trade with Washington for quarterback Kirk Cousins, currently under an exclusive franchise tag, though Cousins had yet to sign the tag as of early Tuesday. The 49ers hold the No. 2-overall pick, one ahead of the Bears in this year's draft.