Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Barrett Ruud sitting out Tampa Bay Buccaneers' practices

TAMPA — Middle linebacker Barrett Ruud, the centerpiece of a young Bucs defense in the midst of an overhaul, is key to the unit's success in 2009.

But Ruud did not participate in either of the voluntary workouts this week — the first of 14 such practices this offseason — even as he spoke Wednesday during a radio interview about taking ownership of coordinator Jim Bates' new scheme.

Given his contract status — he is entering the final year of his rookie deal — and because talks aimed at an extension are in their infancy, the reason for his nonparticipation is the subject of much speculation.

Ruud was present Tuesday but absent Wednesday. Reached Wednesday, Ruud said "everything's fine" and gave no specific reason for his absence. The team indicated he simply took some personal time.

But for a player who has no history of missing the voluntary but critical practices and has been asked by coaches to take a greater leadership role, it was a departure from the norm.

Ruud is set to make $1.6 million in base salary. The sides have not exchanged numbers.

Coach Raheem Morris didn't comment specifically on the players absent Wednesday, saying only each had been in contact with the club. That includes tight end Kellen Winslow, who the team said is dealing with a personal matter and will join the club soon.

"It's voluntary," Morris said. "It wouldn't be right on my part to call anybody out for missing a voluntary workout."

Ruud's agent, Ethan Lock, said only, "It's a nonissue. I don't want to talk about this."

It's common for players who are in contract talks or seeking new deals to sit out offseason workouts.

Running back Earnest Graham was absent for most of the 2008 offseason. Then in June, he signed a four-year, $11 million deal.

And last month, as general manager Mark Dominik was putting the finishing touches on Winslow's $36 million extension, Winslow was encouraged by Dominik to sit out the final two days of a three-day minicamp, likely to avoid injury.

In Ruud's situation, there was no hint of acrimony from either side.

But it's clear the team would prefer to have its defensive star on the field. Ruud, a second-round pick in 2005 who turns 26 on May 20, racked up a team-high 178 tackles in 2008 and might be in position to increase that total in his new role this fall.

The Bucs' next session is scheduled for Tuesday, the first of three workouts next week.

Stephen F. Holder can be reached at sholder@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3377. Rick Stroud can be reached at stroud@sptimes.com.

Talking Bucs

Join Bucs beat reporter Stephen F. Holder for a live chat today from noon to 1 p.m. at blogs.tampabay.com/bucs.

Barrett Ruud sitting out Tampa Bay Buccaneers' practices 05/13/09 [Last modified: Thursday, May 14, 2009 6:59am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Cubs down Dodgers 3-2; force NLCS Game 5 Thursday

    Ml

    CHICAGO — Javier Baez snapped an 0-for-20 skid with two home runs, former Ray Wade Davis hung on for a six-out save and the Cubs avoided a sweep, holding off the Dodgers 3-2 Wednesday night in Game 4 of the NL Championship Series.

  2. Bucs' Vernon Hargreaves: 'I'm not making any plays'

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Eli Manning gathered his receivers together on the sideline during the Giants' Week 4 game against the Bucs and told them he planned to target the weakest link of the secondary all afternoon.

    Patriots receiver Chris Hogan gets position in front of Bucs cornerback Vernon Hargreaves for a 5-yard touchdown pass in New England’s win on Oct. 5.
  3. Lightning's J.T. Brown to stop anthem protest, focus on community involvement

    Lightning Strikes

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Lightning wing J.T. Brown will no longer raise his first as a protest during the national anthem before games.

    J.T. Brown says he will work more with the Tampa police and groups that serve at-risk young people.
  4. Signs point to Jameis Winston dressing vs. Bills

    Sports

    TAMPA — The Bucs didn't sign another quarterback Wednesday, which would suggest they are confident that Jameis Winston can be active as a backup to Ryan Fitzpatrick on Sunday at Buffalo if he doesn't start.

  5. FSU doesn't feel need for ongoing reminder of last year's beatdown at Louisville

    Sports

    Of course Florida State remembers what happened against Louisville last year. The 63-20 loss was one of the worst defeats in Seminoles history.

    Louisville's Lamar Jackson looks back at the action from the sidelines during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Murray State, Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)