TAMPA — Barrett Ruud is approaching the 2010 season as if it will be his last with the Bucs, the linebacker said Wednesday.
A restricted free agent, Ruud has been tendered a one-year contract worth $3.168 million.
"I approach it as this is a one-year-prove-it deal," Ruud said. "You can say whatever you want. But the fact is I've got a one-year tender."
Ruud, 26, 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, the second most in club history. But this year, Ruud has taken a different approach, attending the workouts.
"I definitely have no regrets about last year or the offseason because I was trying to get something done," he 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."
The sixth-year player said 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 it's a business, and I'd like to get something now. But I'm approaching it like a one-year-prove-it thing."
Around the league
Roethlisberger case: Milledgeville (Ga.) police said it has turned its investigation into a college student's sexual assault allegation against Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger over to the district attorney. There is no timetable for a decision on bringing charges.
Rams: Linebacker Na'il Diggs, 31, signed. Last season, his 10th, Diggs made 33 tackles in 14 games (11 starts) for Carolina.
Saints: Former Gator defensive end Alex Brown signed. Brown, 30, played his first eight seasons for Chicago, which released him last week in light of its signing of Julius Peppers. Last season, Brown had six sacks while starting every game.
Information from Times wires was used in this report.