<
>

Report: Ruud's absence related to contract

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas
As suspected, Barrett Ruud's absence from Tampa Bay's organized team activities is related to his desire for a contract extension, Scott Reynolds reports.

Ruud's got an argument here. He's scheduled to make $1.6 million this season, which isn't a lot for a middle linebacker who the Bucs like to say is one of the best in the league. I'm not sure what kind of deal Ruud is seeking, but I think there's a very good chance something gets worked out before training camp.

Ruud is expected to be a cornerstone of the new defense and the Bucs need him on the field from the start of camp. They have the salary-cap room (almost $37 million) to make almost anything they want happen. In fact, Ruud's future is one of the reasons why the Bucs have kept so much cap room available.