South Notes: Brees, Fowler, Jags, Bucs

In an interview with WWL radio in New Orleans on Thursday, quarterback Drew Brees said he intends to retire with the Saints, and dismissed any speculation about potential trade talks involving him.

“I have a close enough relationship with everybody within the Saints organization that if something was going on, I would have heard about it from them,” Brees said. “If there was any seriousness, you know, reality (to the rumors), that would be discussed. Anything that I hear or get wind of is typically false. False reports.”

Of course, the reports Brees calls “false” never really existed. Some columnists wrote speculative articles about the possibility of quarterback-needy teams checking in on Brees while the Saints were seemingly making everyone available, but at least one report suggested the quarterback was one of the only players the team was not shopping. Nonetheless, GM Mickey Loomis, head coach Sean Payton, and Brees himself have all felt the need to shoot down that speculation.

Here’s more from around the NFL’s two South divisions:

  • Asked about upcoming pre-draft meetings, Florida pass rusher Dante Fowler Jr. says he has visits lined up with the Jaguars and Titans, writes Jenny Vrentas of Fowler is considered one of the top pass rushers in the draft, and projects as a potential top-five pick — Mel Kiper Jr. of ESPN recently expressed confidence that Fowler will go third overall to Jacksonville.
  • Center Stefen Wisniewski left his visit with the Jaguars without a deal in place, but head coach Gus Bradley said the team will “have more conversations about him,” per Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union. Bradley also said that, while the team is keeping its options open in regard to adding a fullback, it’s conceivable that Jacksonville starts the season with four tight ends and no fullbacks on its roster.
  • We can add linebacker Larry Dean to the list of free agents to visit the Buccaneers this week, according to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter). Guard Dan Connolly, wide receiver Jerrel Jernigan, and defensive end George Johnson are among the other players who recently paid a visit to Tampa Bay.
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