Cordy Glenn has had a successful NFL career, but it’s in a bit of a downward trend entering the 2018 season.
Since being a second-round pick out of Georgia in the 2012 NFL Draft, Glenn has been a full-time starter at left tackle for Buffalo. That includes 77 starts while helping pave the way for a Bills offense that annually was among the NFL’s best rushing teams.
That helped lead to Glenn signing a five-year contract extension worth $65 million in 2016, making him one of the NFL’s highest-paid offensive lineman. By this time, Glenn had also established himself as one of the game’s best left tackles, arguably the most important position on either side of the trenches.
Things continued to trend upward for Glenn until 2016, when injuries began plaguing his career. He went on to miss 15 games due to injury over the last two seasons, which is part of why Buffalo wanted to shed his contract this offseason.
That led to the Bengals acquiring Glenn in a trade that involved both teams swapping spots in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft, moving Cincinnati from No. 12 to the No. 21 pick in Round 1.
That’s not exactly the kind of trade you would see for a franchise left tackle, but that’s what Glenn was at one time in Buffalo. Now, Glenn is ready to prove himself all over again in Cincinnati.
“You always want to go into the season with something to prove and a chip on your shoulder,” Glenn told Dan Hoard at Bengals.com. “So I definitely have stuff to prove, and I am looking forward to playing this season.”
The Bengals actually limited Glenn in OTAs to ensure he was fully recovered from the nagging injuries that plagued him last year. By all accounts, Glenn is healthy and ready to rock when training camp begins.
“He got cleared with his ankle and foot issues, so we’re easing him back in as he gets more in playing shape,” said offensive line coach Frank Pollack. “He’s a good player when he’s healthy, and he’s proven that in the league. We’re excited to have him.”
Bengals radio broadcaster Dave Lapham has seen his fair share of great offensive line during his time. He thinks Glenn can be a big-time player in Cincinnati.
“It’s like trying to run around a condo when he sets up to pass protect,” said Lapham. “He’s taking up the entire property out there. And the good thing about it is he’s not a stiff. He has good feet, he’s very nimble, he can pull, and when he’s out in space, he can redirect that big body on the smaller defensive backs. He’s a very athletic guy.”
Glenn was injured throughout the 2017 season, which led to him having his worst season when he was healthy. Pro Football Focus gave him a meager 68.1 grade, but that came after four-straight seasons of 82.3 or better.
For comparison, the Bengals’ left tackle for the majority of 2017 — Cedric Ogbuehi — finished with a 41.0 grade. It’s not a stretch to think Glenn is twice the player Ogbuehi is, which would be a massive upgrade at one of the most important positions in the NFL.
I don’t think it’s a stretch to call Glenn one of the biggest offseason additions in the Marvin Lewis era. If Glenn can get back to being the player he was prior to 2017, he could end up being the biggest, and it would have come in an offseason the Bengals needed to make as big of a splash acquisition as possible.