The Tampa Bay Buccaneers should have a full training camp roster when the team reports to One Buccaneer Place on Friday, July 31. PewterReport.com has learned that starting middle linebacker Barrett Ruud will not hold out of training camp and will report to One Buccaneer Place tomorrow. Ruud had missed all of the team's OTAs (organized team activities) due to the fact that he is looking for a contract extension, but did show up for the mandatory mini-camp in mid-June.
Ruud, who has one year left on his rookie deal and is set to earn $1.6 million in 2009, is slated to become an unrestricted free agent in March if the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between the NFL owners and the NFL Players Association is renewed. If the CBA is not renewed, Ruud will only be a restricted free agent next year and will not become an unrestricted free agent until 2011.
The only other holdout possibility heading into camp is rookie quarterback Josh Freeman, the team’s first-round draft pick in 2009. The Bucs and Freeman have made “significant progress,” according to a source, on a multi-year deal that could be wrapped up by Thursday afternoon.
The only absence Tampa Bay is expecting is Arron Sears, the team’s starting left guard over the past two seasons. Sears has been absent from One Buccaneer Place since the team’s initial mini-camp during the first week of April. He has missed all of the OTAs and was excused from the mandatory mini-camp because he is dealing with what the team calls a “personal, private matter” that has the Buccaneers “concerned.”
Several sources have told PewterReport.com that the Sears situation is similar to the situation former Bucs safety John Howell dealt with during training camp in 2003 when he went AWOL and was diagnosed with clinical depression.
With Sears expected to miss training camp, second-year pro Jeremy Zuttah becomes Tampa Bay’s starting left guard.
Bucs running back Cadillac Williams vows to be healthy enough to pass a team physical on Friday and participate in training camp, which begins on Saturday, August 1 at One Buccaneer Place. If his torn patellar tendon hasn’t healed sufficiently to pass the physical, the Bucs will put him on the training camp physically unable to perform (PUP) list.
Third-year defensive tackle Greg Peterson is also a candidate to go on the training camp PUP list if he fails the team physical on Friday at One Buc Place. Peterson injured his knee during OTAs and missed the mandatory mini-camp in mid-June.
Scott Reynolds is in his 25th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: email@example.com