Bucs Will Consider Franchise Tag For Ruud?

June 23rd, 2011

Rather than sign off on the $15 million or $20 million of guaranteed money (much more non-guranteed) it might cost to re-sign Barrett Ruud, one Bucs beat writer says the Bucs will strongly consider slapping the franchise tag on Ruud at the end of the lockout.

That would put a roughly $10 million, one-year 2011 windfall the middle linebacker’s pocket and make him a free agent in 2012.

Speaking on 1040 AM yesterday, Stephen Holder of the St. Pete Times says franchising Ruud could be a best-of-both-worlds scenario for the Bucs.

“This is going to be a consideration. Because if you think about it, if they are in fact convinced they need Barrett Ruud on their football team, but maybe they’re not convinced they’re willing to give him a contract of five years and X millions of dollars.  Maybe they’re not convinced of that but they want him on the football team. Well the way you do it is you tag him with the franchise tag,” Holder said. “It’s a guaranteed contract for [just] this year for him. He may not like it, but it’s certainly a big boost [financially] from where he was. So it kind of gives you the best of both worlds.

“So that’s one scenario where I could see the Bucs doing it. … Linebacker is a franchise [player contract] number is pretty manageable number. … You’re not talking about crazy, crazy money. And so I just think something like that could appeal to the Bucs. And you franchise tag Barrett Ruud, you keep him on your team, and that way you don’t have to worry about the guys you have waiting in the wings can fill his shoes. Regardless of how people feel about him, he is valuable to the team.” 

Joe’s not buying the franchise tag for Ruud. After six seasons, Joe thinks the Bucs are completely sure of what they want to do with Ruud and know what kind of long term deal they want to put in front of him — or whether they’re prepared to let him walk.

The guy doesn’t miss games. There’s a ton of film on him. And the Bucs know he’s in his prime — good or bad depending on your perspective. Joe’s confident Mark Dominik has a number, and if Ruud doesn’t like it the door will hit him in the ass.

29 Responses to “Bucs Will Consider Franchise Tag For Ruud?”

  1. BOb Says:

    Duh! This is a no brainer to me. If they lose ruud that defense takes a serious step back. as much as I hate to say it.

    And for those thinking that foster is the savior, think again! You really think a guy that will have a month of “experience” is gonna be able to come in and do half of what ruud is currently able to do? Dream on! In the future? Sure, I hope foster can replace ruud to install some violence to the middle but it aint happening this year.
    This lockout has done wonders for ruud’s value. At least as far as the bucs go
    Sign Joseph long term and tag ruud until foster can be properly trained on how to run this defense.

  2. David Says:

    I agree with Bob. Franchise him, let Foster get a full year worth’s under his belt and let Rudd go next year…

  3. The D Says:

    Foster was drafted to play SAM. If Ruud does leave, I think that McKenzie would take his place. From what ive heard, Mckenzie is serious about knowing the playbook and calls so maybe there wont be a drop-off. I personally would like Ruud back and have Foster and McKenzie alongside him

  4. Irwin Scheister Says:

    We don’t need Ruud, linebacker is about being instinctive more than anything else. McKenzie already knows the playbook and adjustments, Ruud deserves no more than an average linebacker deal at most.

  5. Jimmy Says:

    Well, nice thought by Holder, but will there even be a franchise tag option in the new CBA?

  6. Pete Dutcher Says:

    I think Stephen Holder reads this site, Joe, because I made this very same point a day or so ago…before he did.

    Personally, I think we need Ruud for at least 2 years in order to develop his replacement properly, but the Bucs could do it again next year, right?

  7. Pete Dutcher Says:

    <blockquote<The D Says:

    June 23rd, 2011 at 10:42 am
    Foster was drafted to play SAM. If Ruud does leave, I think that McKenzie would take his place. From what ive heard, Mckenzie is serious about knowing the playbook and calls so maybe there wont be a drop-off. I personally would like Ruud back and have Foster and McKenzie alongside him

    I’m not saying you are wrong, because you are probably right…but how do we know Foster was drafted for that position?

    So far, all we’ve seen are assumptions by the media and fans, right? Everyone is assuming it’s the case, but what if it isn’t? Have to Bucs come out and said it’s the case?

    Maybe they want him at another LB position. Or maybe they want to switch him to Safety because of T-Jack’s issues.

    Might sound off the wall, but anything is possible.

  8. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    @PeteDutcher — Of course, nobody knows how the franchise tag will or will not shake out after the lcokout, but if it’s the same, then the Bucs could be able to do it two years in a row.

  9. Bucnjim Says:

    Forget about how I feel about Ruud. The Bucs have had little to no success using the franchise tag. They’ve gotten screwed more than a couple times so I highly doubt they will be using it on anyone in the near future. I would have to question giving any average player 10 Million dollars right after the CBA to get spending under control. There are a couple of players in free agency you could say MAY be worth it, but it creates dissension in the locker room. Take care of your young talent and give long term extensions to the players who deserve it.

  10. buccin cane Says:

    Joe, im a bucs fan jus like the rest of you guys. I dont see the point in everyone getting so worked up over Ruud, the fact is he is a pretty solid mike for what “we” need on defense. I just do see how players that have played in this system such as the great 55 can give Ruud props but the average “joe” cant, no pun intended. I think we need to keep him seriously try n develop foster or mckenzie as his replacement. And if McCoy, Price and Miller step up like second and third year players respectively are supposed to i think we see a whole different B. Ruud this season. As much hell as we give Ruud the guy really hasnt had some stud DT’s in front of him to help with some of the load in the middle. In closing i agree we need a presence in the middle of our D if its Ruud so be it if not no need bashing the guy when we really dont know what da hell is being asked of him on each specific play. And to the point of the Hardy Nickerson’s and Shelton Quarles of the world we my still be a tampa 2 d but Rah has publicly said that we are a hybrid meaning that alot of the old stuff is not the norm now.

  11. Dave Says:

    I agree that after 6 years they know what they got and how much they are willing to offer and for how long.
    My guess would be a 4 year deal that is easy for both sides to get out of after 1 -2 years
    They might say screw it and offer him 1 year with decent money knowing they will probably lose him to a bigger, longer contract offer from another team.
    If they do this then that tells me they have confidence in McKenzie (who is considered a “very smart” player) to fill in until Foster is ready or Foster takes another spot.

    Anyone of these scenarios I would be fine with. About the only thing I do not want to see is Ruud signed to a 4-6 year deal. I would prefer he stays for 1 more and moves on but my guess is he is gone.

    If that is the case I want to see McKenzie, Black or Watson and Foster starting by the end of the year.

  12. Bucnjim Says:


    Ruud had a hard time covering the TE’s just in our division. There is no way he’d be playing safety. As far as another LB position; I guess anything is possible, but his attitude about not getting paid what he is worth would probably eliminate that possibility as well. He’s already 28 and talent wise he’s going backwards (literally). Since Brook’s left and the weight has shifted to his shoulders; he’s folded like a lawn chair. Everyone here thought Freeman wouldn’t amount to anything. Then we gave him a chance to shine and he did. The rushing defense has been almost last since Ruud took over the reins from Brooks. Now everyone is saying the defense will suck if we lose him. People; how much worse can you get than last against the run. He’s in the middle; he’s calling the plays and making adjustments; he’s the so called Captain; guess what? He holds the majority of the responsibility.

  13. buc40 Says:

    You guys may be right about having to FRANCHISE RUUD, but its nauseating just saying those words. Could any of you imagine thinking this, nevermind speaking about it. Especially that game against the skins, altough not entirely his fault. I know the draft does change some things around, but i dont even want to utter these words…

  14. UK_Buc Says:

    Bucnjim – i think Pete was talking hypothetically whether or not Foster had been drafted as a safety, not Ruud.

  15. Amar Says:

    Will ppl just quit with the non-sense “Foster was drafted to play SAM” crap? Who are you? Coach Morris?

  16. CreamsicleBananaHammock Says:

    A franchise player who’s never made a Pro Bowl?


  17. The D Says:


    I dont know for sure, but he just seems to be a good fit for SAM. Black might not be back so theres an open spot. Foster is a good blitzer since he had 6.5 sacks last year for UW (which is what the SAM does in our D). Hes a better run defender than pass defender which is what the SAM needs to be. Foster’s weakness is pass coverage so I doubt he plays WILL because thats a big part of playing WILL (though Hayes has blitzed a lot from the WILL). I doubt he plays MIKE because he doesnt know the calls, and isnt great in coverage which is what the MIKE does in our D. Just seems like the logical spot for him

  18. Espo Says:

    Sign him, then make him walk the plank everyday as part of the pregame ritual.

  19. Captain Stagger Says:

    Anyone hear Dave Moore this morning? Or Pat Kirwin, or any legitimate analyst including our own coaching staff? Moore had a great take on Ruud’s responsibilities in the system. To paraphrase His job is to push the lead blocker to opposite side of the free tackler (Grimm most often), drop back in passing situations, and to call the plays. Not to shed the block at point of attack and attack the LOS. He has been given a B+ to an A grade based on what is asked of him. Do I cringe when he gets run over, sure, but everyone seems to forget the lack of supporting cast. Just about the worst D-line in the NFL and can we really claim Black and Hayes are anything more than average at best? His play on the field has more to do with the system he is in and lack of support around him. If the coach, scouts, players, and respected analyst all agree, who are we to lay the blame on him. Keep him a few years and let’s see Mckenzie, Foster, and Te’o starting on 2013!

  20. BigMacAttack Says:

    I hate the thought of Ruud’s bad habits rubbing off on Foster.

    1. the art of dragging
    2. and not letting go for 10 more yards
    3. how to progressively move slower and slower
    4. why lift weights when you don’t have to
    5. Who needs OTA’s, they suck, and it’s hot as hell
    6. It’s less painful to fall down than shed a block from a 330 pounder
    7. Whatever the coach says in you headset, repeat verbatim, it makes you look smart
    8. Chicks dig long hair
    9 Monti says…
    10. Smokem if you got em.

    If Ruud is in his prime now, and the keep him, we’re in some seriously deep doodoo.

  21. BigMacAttack Says:

    Franchise Cadi, or Davin.

    Franchise the freakin waterboy, anybody but Ruud.

  22. Bucnjim Says:

    Didn’t Adam Sandler play middle linebacker in the Water Boy? I’ll take him! gatorade….H2O……gatorade…..Go get em Foster!!!

  23. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    I think we should just have a Barrett Ruud argument daily until this lockout is over. We all (myself included) are just repeating ourselves over and over, but it is better than having to read about the damn lockout. Hey Joe, it’s been a while since we’ve discussed Talib. How about another Talib plea deal article???

  24. m.wesley Says:

    always in position,if you are in position shouldnt you be ready to stop the runner.if you are so great in coverage wheres the int.

  25. canada buc fan Says:

    The next man up motto worked pretty good last year so if he moves on in FA so be it. Statistically speaking however Ruud played at a pro bowl level, as his stats were virtually identical to both Urlacher and Vilma in essentially every aspect of the game. I agree that a lot of his tackles are further down field than desirable, but hopefully with improved play of the line his tackles will get closer to the LOS. The final argument against him is getting trucked over too often (the one by chris ivory still pains me) however later that drive he forced a fumble on the goal line. Further more how many times did we see Blount (also an UFA) run over players (Polamalu, Willis, and Ray Lewis among some of the bigger names). The fact is its football and other players are paid to make plays too and sometimes you end up on the loosing side of it all. Basically I think we will survive without him (and i think we will have to because someone else will offer him more) but I think he gets a little more hate than he deserves.

  26. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    “but I think he gets a little more hate than he deserves.”


    You are probably right about that. I don’t hate the guy at all, but I’m just tired of people buying into the nonsense that he is some great MLB. He’s just not. That’s okay, because no team has great players at every position. In fact, most are serviceable, with only a few great players (if your team is lucky). If he did make more plays like the NO game you were referring to, my opinion of him would change. However, he has forced 6 fumbles in 6 years, and had only 6 INT’s. He has a crapload of tackles, and he is extremely durable. But he just doesn’t make many splash plays, which is what wins you football games. I’d rather him have half the amount of tackles and force double the amount of turnovers. Like all serviceable players, you keep him until you upgrade him. We have no idea how McKenzie (and maybe Foster) is going to be as his replacement, so I think it is smart to hold onto him until we do.

  27. m.wesley Says:

    just turn around and knock the hell out of someone like the safties and corner backs do that plays with the same d-line,all this d-line is causeing him to not hit like everyone else is a cop out.Im tired of that lame excuse,bad d-line play lets the runningback get to Ruud it does not make him drag him down.Him being the leader no one believes that he should make the runningback pay for coming strait up the middle,he gives up at least four yards after he touches the ball carrier.A linebacker that has tackles but gets dragged four yards before he stops him is like a quarterback that thats throws for four thousand yards and 30 interceptions.

  28. canada buc fan Says:


    It isnt really fair to point to his 6 ints and 6 FFs in 6 years because he only became a full time starter in 2007 since then he has 6 FFs and 6 ints he also has 5 sacks. Brian Urlacher who plays the same position in a similar defence (I know we are running less tampa 2 now) in the same time frame had only 2 forced fumbles but 8 ints to go along with 9 sacks. In the same time period Ruud forced more turnovers and stayed healthier than urlacher- who many consider a very good linebacker. I agree with you that i would love more splash plays but that is not entirely realistic. I am not trying to say that Ruud is an outstanding linebacker but I do think he is an above average one and better than anyone else on the roster, or available this year in Free agency. I guess as tampa fans we have been spoiled with some fantastic linebacker play, which makes ruud seem worse than he is.

  29. BigMacAttack Says:

    I love Ruud. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t have anything to bitch about……. except Doubting Thomas.