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Returning to Bucs not a lock for Ruud

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Dan Parr
Associate editor

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Posted Jan. 06, 2011 @ 10:18 p.m. ET
By Dan Parr

MLB Barrett Ruud led the Buccaneers in tackles for a fourth consecutive season in 2010 and he's provided steady leadership in the linebacking corps, especially since Derrick Brooks departed after the 2008 season. While a segment of Bucs fans have questioned his toughness, the team has no doubts about whether he's tough enough, but it's not a lock that the Bucs will re-sign him when he becomes a free agent this offseason, we hear. The Bucs were unwilling to commit to him long-term when he was a restricted free agent last offseason, much to Ruud's dismay, and they are not expected to get involved in a bidding war for him if another team is willing to pay a premium for his services. The Bucs would welcome him back at the right price, but Ruud is said to be uninterested in taking less to stay. Tampa Bay may have to look outside for help at the position, as there is no clear replacement for him on the roster.

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