Barrett Ruud not thinking long-term with Buccaneers
Linebacker Barrett Ruud said Wednesday that he is approaching the 2010 season as if it will be his last with the Bucs.
A restricted free agent, Ruud has been tendered a one-year contract worth slightly more than $3 million.
"I approach it as this is a one-year prove-it deal,'' Ruud said. "That's kind of what it is. You can say whatever you want, but the fact is I've got a one-year tender, basically, so that's definitely how I approach it."
Ruud skipped offseason workouts and Organized Team Activities a year ago hoping to force the Bucs to the bargaining table to negotiate a contract extension.
He still responded with a career-high 205 tackles. But this year, Ruud has taken a different approach.
"I definitely have no regrets about last year or the offseason because I was trying to get something done," Ruud said. "If I went back, I'd do it again. But this year, seeing how last year didn't work out as well because obviously I didn't get what I wanted to accomplish, I figured why not do all the OTAs. I think they're helpful.
"Practicing football is pretty much going to be better than most things you're going to be doing otherwise. And I've always been a workout guy. I don't like getting out of shape. I take about three to four weeks off and start right back at it."
Ruud says he hasn't been given an explanation why the Bucs haven't approached him about a long-term deal.
"The explanation is pretty clear throughout the league," Ruud said. "It's a very unlucky time to be a free agent. A free agent is not a free agent right now (because of the status of the collective bargaining agreement). You're sort of stuck. If I had come out one year earlier in the draft, I'd be fine. There's definitely no animosity right now. I know its a business and I'd like to get something now. But I'm approaching it like a one-year prove it thing."
-- RICK STROUD