In addition to placing the highest tender possible on left tackle Donald Penn, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have also taken steps to secure the services of three other restricted free agents, middle linebacker Barrett Ruud, right tackle Jeremy Trueblood and running back Cadillac Williams.
Tampa Bay's two other restricted free agents -- wide receiver Brian Clark and linebacker Matt McCoy -- were not tendered contracts by the Buccaneers.
With the deadline for tendering contracts to restricted free agents less than a week away, the Bucs placed the highest-possible tenders on Ruud and Penn and the second-highest on Williams.
The moves mean any team signing Penn or Ruud would have to give the Bucs first- and third-round draft picks as compensation, while a team signing Williams would have to give Tampa Bay a first-round pick.
The tenders call for Ruud and Penn to earn $3.168 million in 2010. Williams' salary would increase from $2.09 million to approximately $2.22 million.
The Bucs placed an original-draft-position tender on right tackle Jeremy Trueblood, meaning a team signing him would have to compensate the Bucs with a second-round draft pick. Trueblood's tender calls for him to earn $1.759 million.
Source: Tampa Tribune - Roy Cummings
PewterReport.com's Take: No surprises regarding Tampa Bay general manager Mark Dominik's decision to tender contracts for left tackle Donald Penn, middle linebacker Barrett Ruud, running back Cadillac Williams or right tackle Jeremy Trueblood. Each of these players would become unrestricted free agents on Mar. 5 if a new Collective Bargaining Agreement was executed between the NFL owners and the NFLPA, but instead they're restricted free agents. Penn is a solid starter at left tackle, Ruud led the team in tackles with 205 and Cadillac Williams led the team in rushing last year despite coming back from two torn patellar tendon injuries. There is a chance Tampa Bay's restricted free agents will skip voluntary workouts as a form of protest over the fact that they are not able to test the open market and don't have long-term contracts with the Bucs. Despite today's moves, no one should be surprised if the Bucs look to upgrade their running back or middle linebacker positions in free agency, the 2010 NFL Draft or via a trade(s). The Bucs offense had just one 100-yard rusher last year, and the defense had the 32nd-ranked run defense and feels it needs to get bigger and more physical at middle linebacker.