With rumors running rampant and the trade deadline looming on the horizon, there’s growing speculation the Buccaneers might possibly be shopping middle linebacker Barrett Ruud. After voicing his displeasure with the lack of talks on a long term contract in the off-season, by holding out for most of the teams OTA’s, would general manager Mark Dominik even consider trading one of the teams better defensive players.
In the middle of September, Jason La Canfora, of NFL.com reported that no deal was imminent between Ruud and the Bucs – with an uncapped season just around the corner and players needing six years of accrued service to become an unrestricted free agent. The speculation at that time was Ruud and his representatives’ were looking for Bart Scott type of money which would essentially be in the neighborhood of $8 million per season.
Now myfoxphilly.com an affiliate of FOX, in Philadelphia is speculating the Eagles might have some interest in Ruud.
With many of the teams fanatics voicing their displeasure with Ruud and the lack of impact plays made. Many are just being novice in their assumptions of Ruud. There’s an under lying reason for his lack of splash plays, It’s partly the new scheme, in that it leaves the center free or accounted for with no defensive player lining up over him which allows the center a free release to the second level of the defense to put a hat on the middle linebacker. The second is that the scheme requires the defensive tackles to occupy blockers to allow the mike backer to run downhill and make the tackle. Based on the play of the defensive tackles, can anyone say unequivocally that the interior of the defensive line is truly doing their job.
Now afternoon Sport Talk Radio host Steve Duemig, of WDAE 620 the Sports Animal stopped short of announcing the trade on the radio yesterday, but hinted strongly that the trade was all but done and would come to fruition .
Usually where there’s this much smoke, there’s fire. With Ruud not being the prototypical middle linebacker for Jim Bates defensive scheme and the Bucs not having the personnel to run the 4-3 two gap responsibilities that Bates requires, what are they to do? Does it make sense to trade a player that is probably one of your best defenders or would the more appropriate thing be to tweak the scheme to better fit the personnel and fire the defensive coordinator.
Don’t get me wrong, if the Bucs are offered a deal that just knocks their socks off and represents greater value, then of course they should explore any trade offer for any player on the team not named Aqib Talib at this point. But to trade a player just for the sake of trading with out exploring ways to adjust the scheme to better fit the personnel would only prove that the coaching staff can’t adjust or wont adjust there philosophy, which would be more damaging and telling then any one singular thing up to this point.