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NFL NOTEBOOK: Jets QB Sanchez possibly headed to Tampa Bay; Ex-LSU star ‘Honey Badger’ says he ‘lost count’ of failed drug tests; Falcons' O-line being revamped

Mark Sanchez may not be in a Jet uniform very much longer.

Mark Sanchez may not be in a Jet uniform very much longer.

Quarterback Mark Sanchez to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?

That’s the latest element in the marathon negotiations for cornerback Darrelle Revis between the New York Jets and the Bucs, according to a Friday report by ProFootballTalk.com.

The logic that alleges to give credibility to this notion is based on the Jets unloading Sanchez’ guaranteed $8.25 million for 2013, which does indeed make financial sense to the new Jets general manager John Idzik.

In Tampa Bay, coach Greg Schiano is admittedly not sold on Josh Freeman as his starting quarterback, but it may be a hard sell to consider Sanchez as the alternative.

In New York, that would leave the Jets with aging David Garrard, unproven Greg McElroy and Tim Tebow on the quarterback depth chart.

g MATHIEU ADMITS TO TONS OF FAILED DRUG TESTS: Former LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu says he stopped counting all the drug tests he failed while in college.

Mathieu is visiting NFL teams ahead of the draft later this month to show he has cleaned up his act and that the talented from troubled player known as “Honey Badger” is worthy of being selected.

An NFL assistant coach who interviewed Mathieu said when he asked about the number of failed drug tests, Mathieu responded, “I quit counting at 10. I really don’t know.”

Mathieu, a 2011 Heisman Trophy finalist, was booted off the LSU team before last season after a series of failed drug tests. In October, he spent time in jail on a drug-related charge.

Since then, Mathieu contends that he is on the straight and narrow and serious about a career in pro football. His impressive performance at the NFL Scouting Combine in February piqued the interest of NFL teams.

NFLDraftScout.com ranks Mathieu as the No. 12 cornerback and projects him as a third-round pick.

The NFL assistant who spike with Mathieu questioned how an college player could fail that many tests.

“If he flunked 10 tests before they suspended him, it shows that he got no kind of help,” the coach said.

Mathieu’s agent, Patrick Lawlor, told USA Today that the former LSU standout is in the midst of an 10-team NFL tour.


Falcons' new O-line taking shape

FLOWERY BRANCH — The most important pending contract situation in Atlanta is one of the NFL’s worst-kept secrets. It’s not expected to be long until Matt Ryan becomes the latest $100 million quarterback in the league.

That deal might not be consummated until after next season. Which means it’s almost as important for Ryan as it is the Falcons to keep the franchise quarterback out of harm’s way in 2013.

When the Falcons take the field in August, they will have three new starters along the offensive line.

With the release of Tyson Clabo and the retirement of Todd McClure, center and right tackle are open. Peter Konz, who ended last season at the starter at right guard, will slide over to center.

Garrett Reynolds and Mike Johnson battled last season for the right guard spot. Reynolds opened the season as the starter, but suffered a back injury that required surgery. Konz took over as Johnson played the short-yardage extra blocker/tight end role.

Reynolds, Johnson and Philipkeith Manley, a player the Falcons signed last season as an undrafted rookie free agent from Toledo, will contend for the starting right guard position.

Lamar Holmes, who was selected in the third round out of Southern Mississippi, last season will battle Johnson for the starting right tackle spot.

As the Falcons prepare to sign Ryan to a long-term deal, Clabo became the latest veteran released for salary cap reasons. On March 1, the Falcons released running back Michael Turner, defensive end John Abraham and cornerback Dunta Robinson.

The move, which was announced as a post-June 1 cut, will save the team $4.5 million.

Holmes nor Johnson has started a game in the NFL at right tackle.

“Tyson Clabo is a great player, a leader and teacher,” Holmes said. “Tyson taught me a lot of different things including some of the little ins and outs of the game. Just some little tricks to make things better blocking-wise.”

Holmes had a stressed fracture in his foot that slowed his development last season. He spent most of last season working out at left tackle behind Sam Baker.

“I’m ready to do whatever the team needs me to do,” Holmes said. “If they want me to play right side, I’ll play the right side. Whatever they really need me, I’ll play.”

Holmes, of Gastonia, N.C., started his career at Itawamba Community College before transferring to Southern Mississippi.

“I went to junior college when I was a freshman with my head down, just basically saying, ‘I’ve got to go in there and take somebody’s spot,” Holmes said. “I’ve got to earn a job. I’ve got to be on the field. I’m not here to make friends.’ I think that type of mentality, it carried me to where I am now. I went to Southern Miss with just the same mentality and I’ve just got to keep doing it.”