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What Next To Do With Glenn? Nothing

Bob George
Bob George on Twitter
20 years ago at 6:13 pm ET
Posted Under: Patriots News

Tuesday, August 15, 2001. On this day, Bill Belichick quite possibly took the 2001 Patriot campaign and flushed it down the drain.
And it was the absolute correct thing to do.

As far as Terry Glenn is concerned, there is no more concern. Take him, throw him in the dumpster and hope he surfaces sometime around March of next year. Hope that somewhere along the way, Glenn comes to grips completely with what has happened in his life, and that he takes the necessary steps to straighten himself out.

What do the Patriots do now with Glenn? Nothing. Not a thing.

They did all they had to do on Tuesday. They placed him on the “suspended-left camp” list. They put the hammer down. They literally gave him the death penalty. Glenn is now suspended for the season, and the Patriots cannot activate him at all, nor can they trade him or release him until next March.

A very demure Belichick explained to the media what he did and why he did. Basically, he said, the team extended themselves to Glenn all they could, but the time came to simply move on. Deal with who we got, not with who we don’t got. Put Glenn in the safe, and timelock it for next spring.

Patriot Nation hangs their collective heads right now. Some hang it in shame, some in despair, and others in disgust. While some cynics out there are thinking “Attaboy, coach!” for showing Glenn who’s boss, no one can generate anything positive for the team or the player at this time.

The Patriots stocked up on veteran free agent wide receivers in the offseason, and with good reason. Torrance Small, David Patten, Bert Emanuel and Charles (who also had a bad childhood as reported in the Boston Globe on Tuesday) Johnson will do fine. They’re no Glenn, but they’ll do. Not to slight Troy Brown, but Brown has special talents that set him apart from the other four men mentioned here.

Now, it is time to move on. Life without Glenn in 2001 begins.

Still, many Patriot fans are stressing out over what to do about Glenn. Trade him. Cut him. Get rid of him somehow. ESPN.com had a report Tuesday stating that one reason Belichick suspended Glenn was because he was a bad influence on the high character players brought in by the baleful this year. A lot of Patriot faithful want the team to cut all ties with Glenn right now.

Nah. Keep him. There are more advantages than disadvantages to keeping him versus releasing him.

Where Glenn and the Patriots are concerned, the Pats hold all the cards. The only thing that can trip up the Patriots is a possible faux pas when Belichick mentioned Glenn’s history of drug tests the other day, which is normally confidential. Otherwise, Glenn and his agent, James Gould, are two poor saps with no legs to stand on. They are both whining pathetically right now, primed and ready to go to court.

Let ’em go to court. All Bob Kraft has to do is sit back and watch the fun.

First of all, Glenn’s fanny belongs to the Patriots for the next six years. They have all this time to sit there and wait for him to possibly rehabilitate himself. This may sound preposterous, but there is no urgency whatsoever for the Patriots to turn Glenn into the next Irving Fryar, a talented wideout man-child who left New England, and magically “grew up” as a Miami Dolphin. The Patriots cannot afford to watch Glenn grow up somewhere else when the chance exists that he can do it while still a Patriot.

In this case, the Patriots have time on their side. Glenn’s contract expires in 2007. In this period of time, either Glenn will figure out that he needs to get his tail in shape and play football, or the team will know for sure if they have a true stiff on their hands. There is no hurry right now for the team to find this out.

The second reason why the Patriots need do nothing at this time is that all financial and legal hassles belong to Glenn and Gould. All the Patriots need to do is to keep placing Glenn on the left camp list and they owe him no salary. Until a court of law orders such a disbursement, the Patriots need not pay Glenn any of his signing bonus. In a nice bit of poetic justice, the Patriots might actually countersue to recover the portion of the signing bonus already paid out.

Glenn has two critical moments in his personal and professional life that this whole circus hinges on. First, he has the appeal of his suspension from the league for missing a drug test. Second, he has his assault bust which is pending in the Norfolk County criminal courts. In either case, the worst thing that could happen to the Patriots is that they have to pay Glenn his signing bonus owed him.

The substance abuse appeal will likely happen first. This is what caused Glenn to go AWOL in the first place. Whether Glenn wins or not hinges on his ability to prove he did tell the people who administer the drug tests that he was out of town and that they knew how to get a hold of him for the test. A missed test counts as a failed test in the NFL. If Glenn wins this appeal, his four game suspension is lifted and the Patriots will be mandated to pay Glenn what he is owed from his signing bonus.

But Glenn’s real problem comes at his criminal trial, and the substance abuse deal will pale to this greatly.

A guilty verdict or a no lo contendre plea would be devastating to Glenn’s NFL career and his personal life. Whether he does hard time or not is discussion for another day and time, but anything other than a not guilty verdict or dismissal of charges means that the Patriots can void Glenn’s entire deal, based upon the standard moral clause in every player’s contract.

Again, time is on the side of the Patriots. All they have to do is sit back and watch how this plays out. The worst thing for the team here is that they merely have to honor their contract with Glenn. Glenn bears all the worry here.

And that worry may be more than Glenn realizes. With Glenn now suspended for the season without pay, don’t be surprised if Kimberly Combs, Glenn’s girlfriend, suddenly and miraculously un-recants her charges. If she was clamming up just to protect the earning potential of her “significant other”, that incentive is now gone. Glenn would thus have more reason to chew his fingernails if this be true.

The final reason that the Patriots ought to bide their time was alluded to earlier in this piece. If the possibility, however remote, exists that Glenn can turn his life around and become the next Jerry Rice or the next Steve Largent while still a member of the Patriots, the Patriots need to allow that to happen.

Whether it will or not depends upon what shade of rose your glasses are.

Glenn needs help. Even if all legal breaks fall his way, both criminal and civil, Glenn remains an incredibly troubled man who is in desperate need of a life makeover. This is not meant to launch into another soliloquy about the wonders of psychotherapy, but the need for such is now more acute than ever.

If football is as important to Glenn as he says it is (reference his interview with Nick Cafardo of the Globe on Sunday), all of us need to see some actions to back that up. A man making that claim would not have allowed things to come to what they have come to. It is definitely time for Glenn to take command of his life. This again is something that the Patriots don’t need to do for him, and don’t need to worry that he’ll start on this first thing tomorrow.

Let’s say that Glenn does go see someone, and does realize that he is making some awful decisions and doing some stupid things with his life, and that his bad childhood really means nothing today. He emerges with confidence, maturity, and resolve. He makes himself ready for the 2002 NFL campaign.

The next question would then be, would he play for the Patriots?

Again, the Patriots win here. It matters not whether he wants to play with them or not. Glenn is signed through 2007. The Patriots own him. He either plays or sits again. Gould can try and broker a deal with the Patriots, but unless some team makes a Don Corleone-type deal, the Patriots are foolish to even consider dealing Glenn.

A rehabilitated Glenn would need to be told the following: grow up, make up, shut up and put up. Do all that with the Patriots, the team you signed a contract with. Once the winning starts, you’ll forget these bad times very quickly, and the same will go for your head coach and owner.

Quickly, let’s head to sidebar. Many folks believe that Gould is giving Glenn lousy advice. Gould is not the first agent to be accused of such (anyone remember Gus Sunseri?). Should Glenn fire Gould? Right now, that would be highly unlikely. Gould has a financial stake in Glenn, and should have had his client out there on the field instead of AWOL and whining about going to court. Gould did try and reach out to the Patriots to try and begin a dialogue on Tuesday, but by then the team had had enough and it was too late.

The worst thing that could happen to the Patriots right now is to pull a knee-jerk, emotionally-charged tack and move Glenn to another team. It would be devastating to the Patriots to sit there and watch Glenn suddenly figure out life in general, and put up Canton-ese numbers in another city. Right now, Belichick and Kraft need to sit back and bide their time with Glenn. Let him wriggle out of all his problems.

And if keeping Glenn on the hook for several years devalues him greatly for trade purposes, there is no guarantee or certainty that the Patriots would recoup good value right now. The four-game albatross right now is a killer. Should that be overturned, anything less than a first-round pick or two for Glenn would be a blunder. Going further, given the Patriots’ history for draft picks received in high profile trades, keeping Glenn for however long it takes is far more prudent than making some deal that may wind up being a Damon Denson or a Sedrick Shaw.

Face it, the Patriots hold all the cards right now. Glenn bears all the worry, the shame, and the problems.

What had to happen happened. Belichick and Kraft did what had to be done. Glenn needs to take it from here.

And hopefully take it back here, where he should stay. At least until 2007.


Posted Under: Patriots News
Tags: 2001 Patriots Season Bill Belichick New England Patriots Terry Glenn


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