Cincinnati acquired Glenn and the No. 21 overall selection in the upcoming NFL draft in a trade with the Bills for the No. 12 overall pick, which became official Wednesday with the start of the new league year. In separate moves Wednesday, the Bills signed former Bengals backup quarterback AJ McCarron, who was an unrestricted free agent, and the Bengals re-signed punter Kevin Huber.
“I guess it was shocking,” Glenn said of finding out the news Tuesday. “It was kind of just a lot of different emotions going on. It just kind of came out of left field. I wasn’t expecting it, but (Tuesday) I was just excited, excited to be brought in by the Bengals and excited to be a part of the franchise.
“They want me here, and I think that’s big just to know you are wanted somewhere,” he added. “I know we have a lot of work to do. It’s not going to be easy, but that’s the game of football. I’m definitely excited to be here.”
Glenn, a seventh-year player in 2018, has spent all of his past six NFL seasons with Buffalo after the Bills took him in the second round of the 2012 draft (41st overall) out of Georgia. He has played in 78 career games with 77 starts, including playing six of Buffalo’s first eight games in 2017 before injuries limited his playing time and eventually ended his season Dec. 15.
The Bengals made it clear this offseason that improving the offensive line would be a priority and in Glenn they saw a productive player with good size and athleticism.
“For a big man, he can move his feet,” Bengals offensive coordinator Bill Lazor said. “It shows up when he pulls, he can run. When he goes to reach a defensive end, he looks like he can run and get guys reached, and when he’s in pass protection, even if a player makes a good second move on him, he can turn. For a big man, I think it’s exceptional how he can redirect and get back in front of him. It’s showed up over a number of years against all kinds of pass rushers.”
Glenn said he was familiar with the Bengals through some of his former Georgia teammates like A.J. Green, Clint Boling, Shawn Williams and Geno Atkins. He knows how physical the AFC North can be and how important his job could be in turning around the Bengals’ offense, which struggled last season.
He texted back and forth with Boling after learning of the trade and went to breakfast with Bengals new offensive line coach Frank Pollack on Tuesday. Glenn said he looks forward to spending more time connecting with his new team in April with the start of the offseason program — he has been working to make sure he is healthy and ready to go by then.
“Right now I’m working hard, going out every day to make sure I’m healthy and I’m helping out this team and helping us win,” Glenn said. “That’s the main thing.”
The Bengals still have plenty of other pieces to add. McCarron’s departure leaves the team with starter Andy Dalton and Jeff Driskel as a backup at quarterback.
McCarron started just three games in four seasons with the Bengals, but recently won a grievance to change his tag from restricted free agent to unrestricted, and with the Bills trading Tyrod Taylor to the Browns last week, it appears he will get a chance to compete for a starting role. McCarron was 2-1 as a starter, completing 54 of 83 passes for 554 yards with four touchdowns, no interceptions and a passer rating of 100.1.
“As a competitor, you just see other guys playing and you want your chance to be able to showcase what you can truly do, and that’s just being a competitor,” McCarron said at the end of the season. “Like I’ve said before, God’s plan doesn’t work out when we want it to. It’s on His time. I’ve always truly believed that, and my wife always does an excellent job of reminding me that, and it’s just something you’ve got to buy into and trust and realize.”
The Bengals announced a new three-year deal with Huber on Thursday.
A Cincinnati native, Huber was the team’s fifth-round draft pick in 2009. He holds the franchise record for gross average (45.0) and net (39.8) punting yards.