The New York Giants made the interesting, and perhaps revealing, choice to replace veteran backup quarterback Colt McCoy with veteran backup Mike Glennon this offseason.
Let’s examine that decision as we continue profiling the 90 players the Giants will bring to training camp this summer.
Contract: One-year, $1.375 million | Guaranteed: $450,000 | 2021 cap hit: $1.375 million
Career to date
A third-round pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2013, Glennon started 13 games as a rookie, going 4-9. Since then, Glennon has lived the life of a journeyman backup, starting just 14 games.
After spending four seasons in Tampa Bay, Glennon has been one-and-done in four consecutive stops. He was with the Chicago Bears in 2017, Arizona Cardinals in 2018, Oakland Raiders in 2019 and Jacksonville Jaguars in 2020.
Now, he is on a one-year deal to back up Daniel Jones.
Glennon has played in 34 NFL games and has a 6-21 record as a starter. He is 599 of 980 passing (61.1 percent) for 6,235 yards with 43 touchdown and 25 interceptions. His 2.6 career interception percentage is an acceptable number.
It would, honestly, be great if Glennon, Clayton Thorson or any other backup quarterback who passes through the Giants doors in 2021 never has to play. Daniel Jones’ history over his first two seasons, with games missed to injuries in each year, tells us Glennon is probably going to have to take the field for the Giants at some point.
So, why Glennon instead of the perfectly capable McCoy?
In a film study shortly after the Glennon signing, Mark Schofield wrote that the move “might be a sign that the franchise is looking for a bit more aggression at the position.”
Here are the passing charts from Next Gen Stats for both quarterbacks:
By adding wide receivers Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney and John Ross it is obvious the Giants are intent on creating more big plays in their passing game.
Schofield broke down the play below:
His conclusion, written before the signing of Golladay, was this:
“This play illustrates not only Glennon’s ability to attack downfield, but perhaps more importantly his willingness. Remember, as we have been arguing for a while around these parts the strength of the Giants’ offense on paper, the background of Jason Garrett as a play-caller, and finally the strengths of Daniel Jones as a passer, come in the vertical passing game. Which makes this a potential scheme fit.
“But there is something deeper here at work, which is the willingness to take this shot downfield.
“If, as many expect, the Giants are going to try and keep Kenny Golladay in town when his free agency visit concludes one of the pitches they will need to make is that the Giants will have quarterbacks willing to target him in contested catch moments. That is one of his strengths as a receiver, but to utilize that you need a quarterback willing to challenge tighter windows, and to push the football downfield in those “50/50” moments. Now, this is not to say that the big pitch from Dave Gettleman/Joe Judge/Garrett is “look at the backup quarterback we just signed,” but this might be a window into the organization’s thinking about roster construction right now.”
Glennon is also three years younger, and has played more meaningful snaps in recent years. McCoy has thrown 158 passes over the past five seasons. Glennon threw 179 passes in five starts last season, and has thrown 350 passes over that five-year span. That familiarity with game speed has to be a plus.
The reality is, though, that the less Glennon sees the field in 2021 the better that will likely be for the Giants.