Signed as insurance during the offseason for a young linebackers group, the Seattle Seahawks traded Barrett Ruud to New Orleans for an undisclosed draft pick, the team announced on Monday.
The eight-year pro was limited during training camp because he’s recovering from groin, knee and shoulder injuries he suffered last season. He finished with a tackle last week against Denver.
Ruud, 29, played in only nine games in his first and only season in Tennessee last year, landing on the season-ending injured reserve with a groin issue.
Before an injury-plagued 2011 season, Ruud served as Tampa Bay’s starting middle linebacker, finishing with at least 114 tackles from 2007 to 2010, so he’s been productive when healthy.
Ruud became expendable after the Seahawks drafted Bobby Wagner in the second round, and the rookie performed well as Seattle’s starting middle linebacker in the team’s first two preseason games.
The Saints are looking to increase the team’s depth at middle linebacker after projected starter Curtis Lofton suffered a high-ankle sprain. Former Seahawk David Hawthorne, projected as New Orleans starting weak-side outside linebacker, also had surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his knee
Both Lofton and Hawthorne could miss the Saints’ season opener, which means that Ruud has a chance to start in New Orleans.
The Seahawks also have some depth behind Wagner, including the flexibility of moving second-year pro K.J. Wright from outside linebacker to inside linebacker. Special teams standout Heath Farwell also has surprised the team’s coaching staff with his solid play at inside linebacker with the Seattle’s second unit in preseason play.