Former Packers WR Terry Glenn Dies In Car Accident

Former Packers wide receiver Terry Glenn passed away this morning, the victim of a reported car accident.

Though he’s more notable for stints with the Patriots and Cowboys, Glenn’s lone year with the Packers was memorable, if only as a reflection on Mike Sherman’s unsuccessful tenure as general manager.

The Packers pried Glenn away from the the Patriots in March of 2002 in exchange for two draft picks, a fourth round pick in 2002 and a conditional pick a year later.

The Patriots had taken Glenn seventh overall in the 1996 NFL Draft, and he lived up to the hype as a rookie, catching 90 passes for 1,132 yards and six touchdowns. He was solid in the Super Bowl as well, catching four passes for 62 yards.

Off-field issues lead to New England exit

But Glenn’s relationship with the Patriots soured over the next half decade. A litany of off the field issues including allegations of groping a woman in 1999, getting stopped at a border crossing with drugs in the car in 2000 (though Glenn was not charged), and an arrest for assault in 2001 had the Patriots looking to move on, and a series of fines and suspensions throughout his career made the decision all the easier. 

The Packers and Patriots got together at the NFL Combine in 2002 to discuss a deal for Glenn, but Mike Sherman and Reggie McKenzie wanted to meet with the mercurial receiver before agreeing to a deal. Sherman, McKenzie, and Glenn’s agent made a quick trip from Indianapolis to grill their trade target.

"We were pounding away at him," McKenzie says. "I mean, he had every chance to go off or show anything negative. Plenty of chances. But he didn't."

On March 8, 2002, the deal was consummated, and the Packers went to work integrating Glenn, thanks in large part to efforts by Brett Favre. Favre took Glenn golfing prior to training camp, and when practice started, Favre made sure to target Glenn early and often. Glenn liked what he saw, too. "He's a draw-it-up-in-the-dirt-type quarterback," Glenn told Sports Illustrated. "If the play is a comeback and something goes wrong, I know I can't give up. As long as I get open, he'll find me."

Disappointing but friendly end in Green Bay

Things didn’t quite pan out on the field, though. Glenn was solid though unspectacular through his first three games in Green Bay, totaling 15 catches for 196 yards and a touchdown. After a one catch performance in Week 4, Glenn exploded for 154 yards on eight catches in a 34-21 romp over the Chicago Bears. It would easily be his best game in Green Bay.

Glenn only passed 65 yards twice over the rest of the season and finished what would become his lone year in Green Bay with just 817 yards and two touchdowns on 56 receptions, all three the lowest totals he’d ever posted in any complete season of his career. 

After the disappointing season, the Packers found themselves in a familiar position during the following offseason: looking to work out a trade involving Terry Glenn. On the final day of February 2003, they found one, shipping Glenn to the Dallas Cowboys for what would become a sixth-round pick, reuniting Glenn with his former head coach Bill Parcells and former quarterback Drew Bledsoe.

Glenn found plenty of success in Dallas, but looked back fondly on his time in Green Bay.

"With a fair opportunity, I would have liked to have stayed in Green Bay," Glenn said prior to the 2004 Draft, at the same time understanding that the Packers had a vested interest in young receivers Javon Walker and Robert Ferguson. 

"All I'm saying is, you put the best person on the football field. That's the way it should be. Not, OK, we're going to bring this guy back until we see how Walker and Ferguson pan out.' That's not fair -- period."

Though Mike Sherman was rightly criticized for the trade, Glenn didn’t see it that way. At a low point in his career, Sherman ponied up two draft picks, giving him a unique opportunity to restart his career with a Hall of Fame quarterback.

"What Green Bay did was they came and got me from New England, and I'm very thankful for that. I mean that. Coach Sherman went out on a limb and went and got me, and I'll never forget that.”

Glenn was just 43 years old.

NewsJon Meerdink