The premiere of the 17th season of NCIS will be broadcast on September 24th on CBS. But before the new episodes start, the time is ripe to speculate about the future of some characters.

In fact, there is some evidence that number 17 could also be the last season for a popular character: "Jack Sloane," who's been an integral part of the NCIS team since 2017.

Maria Bello NCIS JAck Sloane 2019

And what about the spark between "Sloane" & "Gibbs"?

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NCIS: Why "Sloane" could be leaving the show

First, "Sloane", who is played by Maria Bello (52), reportedly only signed a three-year contract with CBS. This means her contract would expire after the next season. Bello could extend the contract, but the events from season 16 could point toward "Sloane" leaving the show.

Recently, Maria Bello heated up speculations in an interview that something could happen between "Gibbs" (Mark Harmon, 67) and "Sloane". Bello told Entertainment Tonight: "You can tell they really deeply care about each other. [...] There's definitely a tension there that people are picking up on."

NCIS "Sloane" and "Gibbs": Love with consequences?

The problem with the possible new NCIS dream couple would probably be "Gibbs'" rule number 12, which states: "Never date a co-worker!" So their impending romance could actually result in "Sloane" having to leave the team.

If we're lucky, Maria Bello will announce shortly before the start of the new season of NCIS that she has already extended her contract. We are excited about what's to come!