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Mason Foster will be the Bucs' starting middle linebacker, Barrett Ruud on his way out

This could always be Mark Dominik playing a game, but he all but confirmed that Mason Foster will be the Bucs' starting middle linebacker to start training camp, and Barrett Ruud is on his way out. Mason Foster was the first pick signed in the entire NFL today, with Bucs' seventh-round TE Daniel Hardy being the second, both to four-year contracts as will be the case with all rookies across the NFL.

That Foster is signed does not mean Ruud will leave, though. But Mark Dominik made it clear that Mason Foster will be the starter in training camp. "It's important that your Mike linebacker, the young guy that we drafted, is here on this football team and trying to learn the system as fast as possible, and any discussions with Barrett I would leave out of the picture right now."

That's pretty clear: he sees Foster as the starting MLB. But, hey, it could be a play to put some pressure on Barrett Ruud. Stephen Holder, who has talked to Dominik a lot over the years, interprets this as a clear sign that Ruud and Dominik are miles apart. As I've said before: don't expect Ruud to be back. It's risky, but the Bucs will go with youth at Middle Linebacker.