Is Mike Glennon the leading candidate to be the Bears’ quarterback in 2017?

GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 18: Quarterback Mike Glennon #8 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers warms up prior to the start of the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium on September 18, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

CHICAGO – After the season came to an unceremonious end in Minnesota on January 1st, fans were already starting to guess the name of the man who would be under center nine months from that moment.

Jay Cutler? Brian Hoyer? Matt Barkley? How about a rookie? All seemed possibilities – some more likely than others – after a 3-13 season.

It’s highly unlikely that Mike Glennon was on anyone’s radar at that point. But two months later, it’s looking like he could be in the Bears’ future sooner than later.

On Tuesday Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported that the Bears will pursue the Buccaneers quarterback as the free agent signing period begins on Thursday.

Per Rapoport, Glennon is expected to get a deal that will pay him $14-15 million dollars per season.

If you didn’t see the possibility a few months ago, many can’t blame you. After all, Glennon has played in just two games the last two seasons, serving as the primary backup JameisĀ Winston in Tampa.

A third-round pick out of NC State in 2013, Glennon started 18 games for the Buccaneers the next two seasons. That included 13 in his rookie season when he threw for 2,608 yards and 19 touchdowns compared to nine interceptions. He started five games the next year but fell out of favor with new coach Lovie Smith, who led the Bears for nine seasons.

He was eventually benched for Josh McCown after throwing for 1,417 yards with ten touchdowns compared to six interceptions. He didn’t see a single snap in 2015 as the organization went with Winston as the starter and appeared in only two games in 2016, one of those against the Bears in mop-up time in a 36-10 blowout.