South Rumors: Manziel, Bucs, Graham, Allen

Johnny Manziel is on the short list of players the Buccaneers are “heavily considering” with the seventh overall pick in the draft, a source tells’s Vaughn McClure. Tampa Bay doesn’t have a long-term answer at the quarterback position and Manziel is viewed as one of the top two or three options in the draft, so the Bucs’ interest isn’t a huge surprise.

Let’s round up a few other items from out of the NFC and AFC South divisions….

  • Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk passes along a report from indicating that Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack paid the Buccaneers a visit in Tampa. Word of the visit was broken by defensive end Steven Means, a current Buc and Mack’s former teammate at Buffalo.
  • Saints head coach Sean Payton told Mike Triplett of today that he doesn’t expect Jimmy Graham to participate in the club’s offseason conditioning program as long as the tight end’s contract situation remains unresolved, but Payton isn’t concerned, suggesting that’s “normal” (Twitter link). Graham was franchised by the Saints but has yet to accept or sign the franchise tender, as the two sides continue to work on a long-term agreement.
  • Former Jaguars linebacker Russell Allen, who was forced into early retirement for health reasons, will receive 50% of his 2014 salary, according to Ryan Halloran of the Florida Times-Union (via Twitter). Allen’s base salary before he was released was set to be $1.975MM, so he should receive about $1MM.
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