He has tallied more than 640 tackles, seven interceptions and six forced fumbles during his NFL career.
What It Means
Ruud will return to the NFC South, where he led the Bucs defense for six seasons. He'll get to go head-to-head against some of his old teammates at least twice this season.
Also, the Saints add a veteran to help boost their linebacker corps that suffered a mighty blow this offseason with the suspension of Jonathan Vilma.
The addition of Ruud was certainly in response to New Orleans' mediocre defensive play a season ago. The Saints ranked 12th against the run in 2011 and 30th against the pass. Ruud can help them improve in both areas.
What Happens Next
The former Nebraska standout is only 29 years old and can still play at a high level. Last season with the Tennessee Titans, Ruud recorded 57 tackles and an interception in only nine games. He and the Saints will hope that he can return to top form in 2012.
Draft picks are precious in the NFL, so the fact that the Saints were willing to part ways with a future selection in exchange for Ruud must mean that defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo has plans to use the veteran this season.
There is no doubting that Ruud is an intelligent defender and a sure tackler in the open field. Those dependable attributes should make him a successful player in New Orleans.
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