A reason to re-sign Ruud: 205 tackles
Linebacker Barrett Ruud made a strong case for the Bucs to consider signing him to a new contract.
After recording 20 tackles in Sunday's 20-10 loss to the Falcons, Ruud finished with 205 tackles. The last player to surpass the 200-tackle plateau in a single season was linebacker Hardy Nickerson, who had 214 tackles in 1993.
Ruud is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent. But if there is no extension to the collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and its players, there will be no salary cap in 2010. That means Ruud will be among the 212 players who will go from unrestricted to restricted. The Bucs will have the right to match any offer he receives from another team.
Under that scenario, a player will need six years to reach free unrestricted free agency.
Ruud says he is disappointed he might not enjoy free agency.
"I think everybody would be,'' Ruud said. "Thereís 212 guys in that situation and I think weíre all hoping for the CBA to get signed up. If it doesnít, I donít know. Itís the next step from there. But I think thereís 212 guys in my situation that are rooting for the CBA to get signed.''