South Rumors: Bucs, Colts, Jaguars, Saints

The Buccaneers made a “strong push” for quarterback Nick Foles before he signed with the Eagles, tweets Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com, who last week reported mutual interest between Tampa Bay and Foles. Foles ended up inking a two-year, $11MM deal with Philadelphia that includes $7MM guaranteed. The Bucs could conceivably target another veteran backup quarterback, or simply roll with Ryan Griffin, whom they tendered at the original round level as a restricted free agent.

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

  • Although one report indicated Darius Butler had reached a contract impasse with the Colts, the free agent defensive back could still return to Indianapolis, tweets Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star. Butler, who turns 31 this week, plans to transition to safety full-time in 2017 after dabbling at the position last year. PFR’s No. 4 free agent safety, Butler met with the Bears last week.
  • Although they missed out on the top free agent guard options, the Jaguars are still examining the offensive line market, as Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com writes. Jacksonville, of course, acquired left tackle Branden Albert from the Dolphins earlier this offseason, but still have a hole at left guard, where Patrick Omameh is currently projected to start. The Jags did sign former Cardinal Earl Watford to a two-year deal, but given that he’s best viewed as a reserve, the club may still bring in another interior lineman, either via the second wave of free agency or the draft.
  • The Saints aren’t all that intrigued by free agent wide receiver Andrew Hawkins after “kicking the tires” on him, tweets Mike Triplett of ESPN.com. Hawkins, 31, was released by the Browns last month after three seasons with the club. Though he’s struggled over the past two years, Hawkins posted 63 receptions as recently as 2014.
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