NFL.com’s Jason La Canfora is reporting the Bucs have reportedly been in talks with Barrett Ruud about a contract extension for “several weeks.” The
speculation is that Ruud’s representatives are asking for Bart Scott money. Scott signed a six-year deal worth $48 million this off-season with the New York Jets. With the Bucs operating with a surplus of $30 million in available wiggle room under the cap. No deal is imminent, but locking up Ruud would seem to be a top priority for the team.
With no signs of a new CBA being in place, all teams will be operating under the guidelines that players will need six- accrued season to be eligible to become unrestricted free agents. Counting the current season Ruud would be one year shy which would result in him being a restricted free agent at seasons end.
Here is where it becomes sticky, while the team would like to reward Ruud for his play, unless it’s a fairly friendly deal for the club they have options. Which could further fracture the relationship, should no deal get done and the team place the highest tender on Ruud next season, it would still be lower then he could receive on the open market. But by placing the highest tender possible, it would allow the Bucs to receive maximum compensation in the form of draft picks. Should Ruud be signed to an offer sheet by another team and the Bucs fail to match it.