Speculation is beginning to mount, since the Bucs first priority after the lockout was lifted, was to sign Mason Foster the teams third-round pick to a contract. Certainly one could surmise that the writing is on the wall for free agent Barrett Ruud.
Ruud, 28, whom many presumed would be one of the hotter names during free agency, has gotten little fan fair to this point. General Manager Mark Dominik stated on Tuesday, when he announced the signing of Foster, “[Fosters] a big part of our future plans here. So getting him under contract and letting him be in the building tonight already and starting to learn is the most important thing we can do…We have a lot of young guys that certainly have to step into big shoes at a real mental position, but I have a lot of confidence in who Mason Foster is and his mental make-up to do so.”
If Dominik didn’t spell it out clear enough during his press conference that Ruud is a mere afterthought, when he was non-committal about the return of Ruud. Stephen Holder, of the St. Petersburg Times, via twitter has taken it a step further by stating “He’s gone.”
“This morning I expressed a little doubt about [the] Bucs stance on Ruud. Conversations w/sources 2day have clarified things. He’s gone.”
However, shortly after posting that Ruud is gone. Holder backtracked somewhat, an issued the following statement. “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.”
The flip flopping by Holder, leaves the door slightly cracked for a possible return of Ruud to Tampa. Thus, ensuring Holder doesn’t end up with egg on his face, should the team reach an agreement with Ruud.