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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Barrett Ruud signs 1-year tender with Bucs



Restricted free agent linebacker Barrett Ruud has officially signed his one-year tender with the team.

That locks him into a guaranteed salary of $3.268 million but also means he'll be an unrestricted free agent after the season. The team's leading tackler the past three seasons, Ruud has made his wishes for a long-term contract known, but there's been no indication from the front office of an intent to oblige.

Ruud, 26, was tendered an offer that gave the team the right to match any competing offer sheet and would have required compensation of first- and third-round picks from a suitor. That made it next to impossible for Ruud to find an interested team before the the restricted free agent signing period ended last week.

Though there's been no suggestion or report about a possible trade, the fact that Ruud is now signed makes him eligible to be traded. With the draft approaching, anything is possible. For his part, Ruud would like to stay in Tampa and has been at the team's facility on a regular basis participating in the offseason program.

The team's three remaining restricted free agents are running back Cadillac Williams, right tackle Jeremy Trueblood and left Donald Penn. Williams and Trueblood are expected to sign without any qualms, but Penn's situation could linger into the summer given his utter discontentment over his contract status.

Also today, cornerback Elbert Mack signed his exclusive-rights tender from the club. That was more or less a formality.

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 3:59pm]


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