Earlier this week, left tackle Donald Penn signed a six-year deal worth $48 million after holding out for a better deal. Ruud was also a restricted free agent like Penn was, but decided not to hold out and signed a one-year tender worth $3.268 million. Ruud is having second thoughts now about signing his contract. He is upset as other players and rookies (McCoy signed a $63 million deal) are signing big, long-term contracts around him. While he says he is happy for his teammates and their success, he is certainly not happy with the Bucs. He wants to be paid for his performance and rightly so.
Ruud has been was of the Bucs most consistent defenders over the past few seasons. Over the last three years, he has totaled 632 tackles and 3 sacks, reaching a career-high 205 tackles last season. Ruud has said he won’t leave camp, instead continue to work hard like he has been over the past few years and show the Bucs that he deserves his big contract extension. Bucs management has responded by saying they won’t begin any major talks for a couple weeks at the minimum.
A deal needs to be made before the start of the season. The Glazers are spending some money now (Penn and McCoy), so there really isn’t a big excuse not to sign one of the most productive players on the entire team. The Bucs need Ruud healthy and happy, right now that is not the case. It is a good thing that he is in training though, the Bucs defense would be in trouble if he decided to hold out. His attitude is also starting to rub off on his teammates, even Center Jeff Faine has said he is tired of the attitude, not a good start for the chemistry in the locker room.