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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Bucs' restricted free agents running out of time and options



The clock is about to run out on the Bucs' five as-yet unsigned restricted free agents.

LT Donald Penn, LB Barrett Ruud, RB Cadillac Williams, RT Jeremy Trueblood and WR Maurice Stovall each were tendered offers that gives the team the right of first refusal and entitles it to draft pick compensation if a competing team were to acquire any of these players.

But the deadline for teams to make offers to restricted free agents comes Thursday, and there's been very little movement around the league on restricted free agents, which is exactly why the term "restricted" is so appropriate.

The Bucs' RFAs weren't expected to receive offers from outside given the fact most of them have high draft picks attached. In the case of Penn and Ruud, for example, they each have the highest tender, which entitles the Bucs to a team's first- and third-round picks if they sign either player.

Ruud has accepted his fate and has been attending offseason workouts. But Penn has not  and has voiced vociferous objections through his agent. After Thursday, his best hope is to sign the tender and try to force a trade someplace, but that seems a remote possibility because the Bucs don't currently have anyone to replace him at one of the team's most critical positions.

The Bucs also tendered an offer to WR Mark Bradley, but he has already signed.

This deadline obviously applies to restricted free agents across the league, including the Broncos' Brandon Marshall. As with Penn, the trade option will continue to be a possibility, so there could still be movement -- particularly around and during the draft.

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 3:58pm]


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