Bucs rookie Foster could step in for Ruud at MLB spot

Posted May 06, 2011 @ 1:58 p.m.
Posted By Dan Parr

The Buccaneers found a potential replacement for MLB Barrett Ruud, who is due to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason, drafting Mason Foster in the third round (84th overall).

In a post-draft interview, PFW asked Bucs GM Mark Dominik if the addition of Foster has any bearing on Ruud's future with the team.

"It may," he said. "(We're waiting to) figure out what the rules are in free agency and what that all means. Certainly, I think Mason is a quality player and I think he can step into the lineup and play any one of the three linebacker positions for us."

While Foster can play all three LB spots, Dominik said the plan for him is to take snaps in the middle.

"We're going to end up starting (Foster) inside and letting him compete there first, but I do like the versatility factor," Dominik said. "I'm excited about him, particularly in the third round. That was a good fill in many ways for us."

Ruud has been an every-week starter for the Bucs since 2007 and has made at least 114 tackles in each of the past four seasons. However, his asking price for a new deal has been higher than the Bucs are willing to go, a situation that has left Ruud frustrated with the team.

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