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NFL Rumors: Reggie Nelson drawing Buccaneers interest

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are interested in Reggie Nelson, as are the Minnesota Vikingsaccording to Yahoo! Sports' Charles Robinson. The Cincinnati Bengals safety is expected to hit the market, given that the Bengals opted to re-sign safety George Iloka to a long-term deal today.

Nelson was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the first round of the 2007 draft, which is when they still had Mike Smith as their defensive coordinator. Nelson had a pretty good rookie season, notching five interceptions, but also lacked discipline in coverage. He then never found his rookie form again, and his play dropped off so far that Big Cat Country named him one of the top ten draft busts in Jaguars history.

He joined the Bengals in 2010, and has since turned into a surprisingly reliable free safety, averaging four interceptions per season. His high water mark came last year, when he led the league with eight interceptions and was named to the Pro Bowl for the first time in his career.

If the Bucs sign Nelson, he's be a bit of a gamble at 32 years old and coming off a season he's extremely unlikely to replicate .But there's also a good chance he's the difference maker the Bucs have been lacking at safety -- and Nelson has a history with defensive coordinator Mike Smith as well.