Ryan Finley Throws At Pro Day

Graduate quarterback Ryan Finley throws a pass at NC State football’s pro day on Wednesday, March 27, 2019 in the Close-King Indoor Practice Facility.

Since the official opening of NFL free agency on March 17, plenty of players are finding themselves packing up their belongings to get a fresh start in a new city. Pack Pros have been no exception this offseason, with multiple former Wolfpack quarterbacks finding themselves on new teams.

In recent years, NC State has started to earn its respect as a university that can produce quality quarterbacks that can serve a role at the highest level. This free agency period has already seen three former NC State quarterbacks find their way to new teams, and there is speculation that there could be a fourth in the near future. 

Mike Glennon, New York Giants

In his seven years as a member of the NFL, Mike Glennon has never truly found a groove on any of the teams he has been on. At this point, it would be fair to write him off as a career backup and journeyman seeing as how he has never produced as much as his coaches would’ve liked.

Last season, Glennon was given the opportunity to step in as the starting quarterback for the Jacksonville Jaguars who, as a team, were not pleased with the play of Gardner Minshew II. Despite a pair of solid performances over the five-game span, Glennon could not ignite a dormant Jaguars offense, reflecting poorly on his ability to lead the team in any capacity moving forward. For that reason, coupled with the fact that the Jaguars possess the No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming draft (which will almost certainly be used to acquire Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence), the Jaguars have decided to not re-sign Glennon. 

With seven years of experience in various situations across the league, Glennon does possess plenty of wisdom regarding being a quarterback in the NFL. That is likely the driving factor for the Giants bringing him in this offseason to serve as Daniel Jones’ backup. Jones is in a very important year of his career where he has a lot to prove if he hopes to remain a starter in the NFL. Glennon’s addition will give Jones access to years of football experience and NFL wisdom that could prove to be extremely beneficial to the third-year quarterback’s continued development.

Jacoby Brissett, Miami Dolphins

After making a name for himself on the New England Patriots as a third-string quarterback thrown into the limelight during the suspension of Tom Brady, Jacoby Brissett has made a decent career for himself. The depth chart for quarterbacks on that Patriots’ roster proved to be star-studded, landing Jimmy Garrapalo a starting spot in San Francisco and Brissett a quarterback role with the Indianapolis Colts.

While his time with the Colts wasn’t free of quarterback controversies, Brissett served a couple of seasons as the starter and spent the rest as a backup/running quarterback. Unfortunately for him, he could not escape being a part of a phenomenal quarterback depth chart, as he spent the majority of his time in Indianapolis behind Andrew Luck and his last season serving as Philip Rivers’ backup.

Despite strong showings in the seasons where he was asked to step up as the starter, Brissett has settled into a career backup role. The 28-year-old possesses plenty of starting potential, but the Miami Dolphins chose to sign him to the roster to back-up their promising young star Tua Tagovailoa. Brissett will hope to provide Tagovailoa with plenty of insight regarding being an NFL quarterback as the young-gun prepares for his first full season as the starter.

Ryan Finley, Houston Texans

Former Wolfpack standout Ryan Finley found his way to the trade block early in the free agency period. The 26-year-old has spent the entirety of his NFL career with the Cincinnati Bengals, serving primarily as a backup. 

In his two seasons in the league since being drafted 104th overall in the 2019 draft, Finley has only made an on-field appearance in eight games. In those games, Finley threw for a combined 638 yards on a 48.7% completion rate with three touchdowns and four interceptions. Finley served as the starter in four of these games where he posted one win and three losses.

The Bengals were reportedly prepared to release Finley, but the Houston Texans approached the team with an offer for the NC State product. While the asset given up for the acquisition of Finley is unknown to the public at this time, the quarterback will settle into a QB3 role in Houston. Despite his chances at being a starting quarterback in the NFL being super slim, Finley has secured himself a paycheck for at least one more season. 

Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

No, Russell Wilson has not been traded away yet, and it isn’t very likely to happen at all. Regardless, the quarterback has expressed his frustrations with the Seahawks’ front office entering his 10th season in the NFL. It is no secret that Wilson is one of the most pressured quarterbacks in the league, ranking top five in 2020 in times hurried, times hit and times sacked.

Wilson’s agent came forward in late February and expressed that the star quarterback would only waive his no-trade clause for a trade to the Cowboys, Saints, Raiders or Bears. The only team to come forward and pursue that option with a serious offer was Chicago, who was fully prepared to trade the house for the 32-year-old. That trade package included three first-round picks, a 2021 third-round pick and two starters. Unfortunately for the Bears, the Seahawks came forward and expressed their disinterest in trade offers for Wilson, who is under contract through the 2023 season.

While Wilson was probably aware that Seattle had no intention of dealing him away, his expression of frustration with the team will hopefully be enough for the front office to realize he needs some help up front. It seems to get more difficult for Wilson every season, as he is consistently trying to return the Seahawks to the glory they experienced in the early to mid-2010s. Whether the team has what it takes to make it back to the Super Bowl is left up in the air, but what they do have is their seven-time pro-bowler for at least another year.

Despite finding their way onto new teams or staying in the same old situation, these Pack Pros will look to make the most of their 2021 season. Whether that means fulfilling the role that the team needs from them or being a driving force behind a playoff push, expect these former Wolfpack stars to be an important part of their respective rosters.