The San Francisco 49ers will announce the signing of quarterback Brian Hoyer later this afternoon, and around the same time, we can expect the Chicago Bears to announce the signing of Mike Glennon. They are two significant different kids of quarterbacks, but given the 49ers circumstances, I thought it would be interesting to compare the two contracts.
Jason La Canfora had early details on Hoyer’s contract, tweeting on Wednesday that it was two years and worth $6 million per year, with a chance to climb to $9 million per year. Adam Caplan followed up on Thursday with more specifics. According to Caplan, La Canfora’s base salary information is correct. He said the incentives to get up to $9 million per year are 2,500 yards passing and 20 touchdowns each season. Additionally, the deal includes $10 million in guaranteed money.
Mike Glennon has agreed to terms with the Chicago Bears on a three-year deal that could be worth $45 million, with $18.5 million in fully guaranteed money, according to USA Today reporter Tom Pelissero. The guarantees include a $3 million signing bonus, a $5 million roster bonus, and an $8 million base salary. There are an additional $2.5 million in roster bonuses or incentives. It would seem like this is a one-year deal worth between $16 million and $18.5 million, and then an option to do anything beyond that.
This year’s quarterback free agency market is not particularly good, with questions on every player. Of course, the best quarterbacks never hit free agency, so it is no surprise when this is what you’re left with. And with the 49ers not prepared to hand over everything but the kitchen sink for Kirk Cousins, they had to make a decision.
Mike Glennon could be a serviceable quarterback for the Bears, but it is hard to see him as much more than that. He might surprise us, and the contract is only really a one-year plus option deal. But even still, while the Bears are not entirely sure if he is the future, the 49ers know Hoyer is not the future and can plan accordingly.
The role of both quarterbacks is likely different. Glennon will be expected to claim the Bears starting job in 2017. Hoyer is probably going to end up a decent favorite to land the 49ers starting job, but his salary is close enough to high end backup money that if the 49ers landed a better option, it would not be an entirely surprising.
People close to Kyle Shanahan have said he views Hoyer primarily as a “backup-type” quarterback. Given the 49ers current situation and the patience they can display, it is about as ideal a situation as one could expect when we’re talking about Brian Hoyer. The 49ers have a guy who knows what Kyle Shanahan likes, and can help bridge the offense to something in the future. The Bears are not committed long-term to Mike Glennon, but they also don’t know what exactly they’ll get. If it works out with Glennon, that is good for them, but if not, they’ve kicked the can down the road seemingly without a long-term strategy.