Bucs could have veteran option at MLB

If the Tampa Bay Buccaneers don’t re-sign middle linebacker Barrett Ruud, another viable alternative just came on the market.

On his verified Twitter account, Nick Barnett said he’s being released by Green Bay.

“Just met with (general manager) Ted (Thompson),’’ Barnett wrote. “Thanks for the great eight years. Very blessed 2 be a part of such a great tradition and great fans. Happy I was able to be here for the great xlv run. I will always keep a Special place in my heart for this team and city.’’

While Green Bay may be special to Barnett, he’s known that a parting of the ways was likely for months. A source close to Barnett said he’s been monitoring the rest of the league and thinking about possible landing spots. The source said Tampa Bay is one place Barnett would like to get an opportunity.

It’s unclear if the Bucs will make a strong effort to keep Ruud. They drafted Mason Foster in the third round this year and he can play inside. But, with a very young front seven, the Bucs might be hesitant to let a rookie be the quarterback of the defense.

Barnett is 30 and that may be stretching the limits of Tampa Bay’s youth movement. But Barnett is experienced and could step right in and run the defense if Ruud departs.