With the Buccaneers and Penn agreeing on a long-term contract, does that mean that Barrett Ruud is next? LT Donald Penn threatened a hold-out, very publicly, for quite some time. The Bucs were also very rigid in saying that they would not negotiate new terms for Penn. While Penn showed up at Fan Appreciation day, he also made it a point to miss OTA's and the first day of Training Camp (even though the first practice will be on Saturday). I thought that Donald Penn had all the leverage in the situation, as the coaching staff and GM were likely cringing at the idea of starting Demar Dotson. While Dotson is a young player with plenty of potential (most likely at guard), there is a large drop-off between Penn and the youngster. While common-place amongst NFL players, Penn may not win any awards for the manner in which he handled himself. In fact, the organization probably won the PR war during this saga. However, his diligence in holding out quite literally paid off.
In a completely opposite fashion of how Donald Penn handled himself, Barrett Ruud was asking for roughly the same thing, a long-term deal. However, when the off-season workouts (both voluntary and mandatory) rolled around, Ruud was there. When offered a 1 Year Tender, Ruud signed it. Ruud supported Penn in his holdout, but it was clear that Penns path would not be his own.
"I fully support Donald, and hopefully things get worked out. That’s all I know about that part. … Until you get a decent contract, you kind of think about that every year..."
Ruud has certainly vocalized his displeasure with his contract and his hopes for a new one. I also believe though that Ruud understands his production took a steep decline last year from 2008. In my opinion, there is no doubt that with a return to that T2, that it will be quickly corrected. The feelings seem to be much more mixed on Ruud than in regards to Penn. Penn is clearly an elite talent who ate too much. Ruuds abilities have come into question quite a few times with readers of this site and fans in general. I must admit that I am quite a supporter of his. Regardless, what does Penn's new contract mean for Barrett?
Well, first, it means that the Glazers will spend the money to lock up the talent they currently have on their roster. Something that many fans, including myself, have questioned. It also means that they are looking for fewer distractions and more cohesiveness in the locker room. I don't particullary see Ruud being a source of conflict, but I also think it is a little bit of a distraction. With the money being spent on Penn, I would also not be surprised to see Ruud amp up the negotiations through the media more now.
What do you think Bucs Nation? Is this any indication that Ruud will see a new payday in the near future, or will this dispute carry on into next off-season?