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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Barrett Ruud makes different choice but supports Donald Penn



Linebacker Barrett Ruud just arrived here One Buc Place for the start of training camp despite his disappointment over being one of the many restricted free agents unable to score a long-term deal. Ruud opted to sign his tender for $3.1 million, but teammate Donald Penn did not and likely won't show. Though they took different routes, Ruud said he supports Penn.

"It's all individual," Ruud said. "I fully support Donald. Hopefully things get worked out." Ruud said he won't dwell on his circumstances while on the field lest it affect his performance. "That part's not hard," he said. "When you're here, if you don't focus on football, you look stupid."

Ruud didn't complain about his situation before being asked about it. But he elaborated by saying contract situations are always an issue in the back of a player's mind, particularly ones who have been waiting for years to reach unrestricted free agency. It's clear he is maintaining his stance that, for him, this season is about business.

"Until you get a decent contract, you kind of think about that every year," he said. "I know for a lot of guys, they think about it from the time they're a rookie until they do sign a little more of a long-term deal. . .  I think there's always a lot of pressure on yourself. This league is so competitive and there's usually not a lot of guaranteed money -- not like baseball or basketball where everything is guaranteed. I think you're always under a lot of pressure from everyone to play well."

[Last modified: Friday, July 30, 2010 4:00pm]


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