Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht said last week that teams had contacted him to gauge the availability of the first overall pick, suggesting at the time that those calls would probably continue over the next few days. Speaking to Steve Wyche of NFL.com, Licht confirmed as much, indicating that more than one team called him on Sunday to inquire about the No. 1 pick.
According to Licht, the calls were more about “feeling out what it would take” to trade up to No. 1, so it doesn’t sound like any serious discussions took place. It would presumably take a significant offer for the Bucs to consider moving down, since the club has decided which player it will select with that pick. While Licht, of course, declined to name the player, he said that he and head coach Lovie Smith “are in complete alignment” on the choice. Jameis Winston is considered the strong favorite.
As we wait to see if the Bucs have any last-minute surprises up their sleeves, let’s check in on a few other items from across the NFC….
- The Packers are expected to decline their fifth-year option on linebacker Nick Perry, but nothing is official yet and the team has a few more days to make its decision, writes Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. It would cost $7.751MM for the 2016 season to exercise the option on Perry, who has yet to make a real impact on Green Bay’s defense since being selected 28th overall in 2012.
- As expected, the NFLPA has officially appealed Greg Hardy‘s 10-game suspension on behalf of the Cowboys defensive end. According to Pro Football Talk (Twitter link), the union filed the appeal on Friday night.
- As Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.com writes, 49ers GM Trent Baalke won’t be pressured into drafting a receiver early this week, but the team is certainly considering wideouts. Georgia Tech’s Darren Waller said today on SiriusXM NFL Radio (Twitter link) that he had a pre-draft visit with the Niners, who spoke to him exclusively about playing wide receiver — Waller is considered a potential tight end in the NFL by some other teams, including the Cardinals (Twitter link via Alex Marvez of Fox Sports).
- Given the advancing ages and rising cap numbers for James Laurinaitis and Chris Long, Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com thinks it’s possible that the Rams will eye potential replacements for their veteran defensive leaders in this year’s draft. In Wagoner’s view, a defensive end is more likely than a linebacker, given the strengths and weaknesses of 2015’s class, but ideally both players would have nice 2015 seasons and adjust their contracts to stick around St. Louis even longer.