There were rumors that this was going to be the case when draft pick Mason Foster signed his deal with the Bucs earlier this week, but it’s now all but official: Barrett Ruud will not be coming back to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. From Stephen Holder, St. Petersburg Times:
BTW, this morning I expressed a little doubt about #Bucs stance on Ruud. Conversations w/sources 2day have clarified things. He’s gone
That Mason Foster stuff was no smokescreen on Tues. Only way Ruud comes back is a low $, short-term contract if there’s no market for him
So after six seasons with the Bucs, Ruud will have to find work elsewhere. There’s been no reason given why the Bucs have decided to look elsewhere for help at linebacker, but it can only come down to three things: talent, money, or a combination of the two.
While he’s been praised by the Bucs on occasion, Ruud has his detractors; the Bucs have had a very poor run defense over the last couple of years, and it’s possible that a change at linebacker could help the Bucs improve. As the folks at Bucs Nation pointed out on Twitter, linebacker is a relatively easy position for rookies to step in and learn. If Ruud was supposed to be expensive and the transition to Foster has a good chance to be smooth, it seems like a good move by the Bucs.
For more on the Bucs and their offseason signings, follow SB Nation Tampa Bay on Twitter or Facebook.