SUSDoug Martin
RB TB (6)
4 days ago

It is still unclear where Martin (suspension) fits into the Buccaneers' plans for 2017, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

EDGE Analysis

Martin played just eight games in the first season of his five-year, $35.75 contract, first missing an extended stretch with a hamstring injury, and then sitting out Week 17 due to a four-game suspension stemming from a violation of the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances. The suspension voids more than $7 million in guarantees from his contract, allowing the Bucs to easily move on from a deal that already looks like a mistake. Martin has a pair of 1,400-yard rushing seasons (2012, 2015) to his name, but he's only played 57 of a possible 80 games through five years, and he managed just 144 carries for 421 yards (2.9 YPC) in 2016. Although he is said to be doing well after completing a stay at a rehab center in February, the 28-year-old running back will still be unavailable for Week 1-3. Given his injury history, salary and inconsistent track record, Martin is in serious danger of being released before the season. His fate might be sealed in late April if the Bucs use a high draft pick on a running back. The team re-signed Jacquizz Rodgers and will also return both Charles Sims and Peyton Barber.

SUSDoug Martin
RB TB (6)
3 weeks ago

Martin (suspension), who met with Bucs officials in Tampa last week, is reportedly doing well and will prepare for the offseason program over the next several weeks in California, Jenna Laine of ESPN.com reports. "We've checked in with Doug," general manager Jason Licht said at the combine. "His well-being is very important to us right now. We don't have to make a decision right now. We've got time, so there's no point in coming out and saying what we want to do and what we plan on doing. We're going to let the process play out and it's good for both parties."

EDGE Analysis

The Bucs reconvene in mid-April for the start of OTAs and as of now, Martin remains a part of their plan. His suspension doesn't prohibit him from practicing with the team in any way during the offseason, but it does allow Tampa to void a guarantee of $7 million for this coming season and release him. However, the Bucs are understandbly keeping their plans close to the vest for now, while also trying to very much leave open the possibility of their former Pro Bowl running back returning to the team in 2017 and playing a prominent role, as he has in the past. While they'll keep their options open with respect to Martin, the front office and head coach Dirk Koetter are firmly in lockstep in their goal to solidify the running back position this offseason. "We don't have to make that decision right now," Koetter told reporters Wednesday at the NFL combine. "Doug's under contract right now and no decision has to be made on that right now. So we don't have to rush it. We can just work through it as we go. But that's one of the things high on our list is what's going to happen with our running back situation?"

SUSDoug Martin
RB TB (6)
1 month ago1 Comment

The Buccaneers aren't expected to make a decision on Martin for the foreseeable future, Roy Cummings of FloridaFootballInsiders.com reports.

EDGE Analysis

Handed a four-game suspension in December for a violation of the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing drugs, Martin missed the final game of the 2016 season and promptly entered a treatment facility. Prior to the ban, he was a workhorse in the eight games in which he was active, averaging 18 carries per contest and corralling 14 of 16 passes. However, he also missed six outings in the early going due to a hamstring injury and was inactive in Week 16 for an undisclosed reason. The impetus was soon revealed, though, at which point his campaign was over. If Martin is still a Buccaneer next season, the backfield will be entrusted to holdovers Charles Sims, a veritable pass-catcher, and Peyton Barber for the first three games, while unrestricted free agent Jacquizz Rodgers, exclusive rights free agent Russell Hansbrough, and a draft pick or two may also be in the fold.

SUSDoug Martin
RB TB (6)
2 months ago1 Comment

Martin (suspension) rushed for 421 yards and three touchdowns on 144 carries (2.9 YPC) while also hauling in 14 of 16 targets for 134 yards during the 2016 season. He also lost a fumble.

EDGE Analysis

Just ten months ago, Martin was riding high after re-signing with the Bucs on a five-year, $35.75 million dollar deal mere hours before the start of free agency. Once the lights went on for the 2016 regular season, however, it appeared the fifth-year pro was on a constant downhill slide. A hamstring injury in Week 2 knocked him out for the ensuing six contests, and he struggled upon getting back on the field. The 27-year-old notably averaged less than three yards per carry in five of the six games he played upon returning, with a season-high 87-yard performance against the Seahawks serving as the only exception during that stretch. Although Martin appeared to run decisively for the most part in 2016, there were some rumblings about him exhibiting poor vision and not exploiting available running lanes at times. Backfield mate Jacquizz Rodgers' solid performances behind essentially the same offensive line likely lent further credence to that theory, and with Martin's season ending under the spectre of a PED suspension, his future in Tampa is in doubt until further notice, an inconceivable notion heading into this past season.

SUSDoug Martin
RB TB (6)
3 months ago

Martin's 2017 guarantee of $7 million can be voided due to his current PED suspension, Jenna Laine of ESPN.com reports.

EDGE Analysis

The Bucs inked Martin to a five-year, $35.75 million dollar contract in the offseason that included $15 million in guaranteed money, but the agreement included a clause that the 2017 guarantee could be voided in its entirety in the event of "PED violations, substances of abuse and engaging in conduct detrimental to the team", according to Laine's report. While Martin's future with the team is far from decided at this point, the provision represents an escape hatch that's certainly worth being aware of with respect to the fifth-year pro's future prospects in Tampa. Further complicating matters is the fact that journeyman Jacquizz Rodgers has unexpectedly emerged as a viable alternative in the backfield this season, and could potentially be secured for a reasonable investment following the expiration of his current one-year, $760,000 deal. Rodgers has gained 485 yards at 4.3 yards per tote in 2016, and will have a final chance to demonstrate his wares as the clear-cut lead back against the Panthers in Week 17. Meanwhile, Martin's situation will be one to monitor heading into the offseason, with a successful completion of the treatment program he has entered representing the first step to further clarity and hopefully, a potential recovery.

SUSDoug Martin
RB TB (6)
3 months ago

Martin is leaving the Buccaneers in order to enter a treatment facility, Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times reports. "I was notified last week of a four-game suspension for violating the league's drug policy," Martin wrote in a statement. "I am starting the suspension immediately so I can enter a treatment facility and receive the help I truly need."

EDGE Analysis

In particular, Martin violated the NFL's policy regarding performance-enhancing substances, precipitating a suspension that will begin this Sunday and extend into next season. Under the rare circumstance that the Bucs earn a playoff berth, the ban will account for those contests. However, he'll more than likely miss the first three games of the 2017 campaign. Considering his bulky salary, he'll likely be handed the No. 1 gig at running back upon his return, but Charles Sims and potentially Jacquizz Rodgers, an unrestricted free agent in the offseason, will cover for Martin during his absence.

SUSDoug Martin
RB TB (6)
3 months ago

Martin is "stepping away from the team to take care of personal issues," Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.

EDGE Analysis

On both a professional and now a personal level, Martin has turned in an undesirable season rife with ineffectiveness on the ground. Some of the lack of success may be the result of a hamstring injury that forced six absences earlier in the campaign. However, his surprise DNP on Saturday wasn't the result of an injury, so something else in his life was to blame for the downgrade. While neither the Bucs nor Martin are obligated to touch on the nature of his "personal issues," the running back is an unlikely candidate to be jettisoned due to the five-year, $35.75 million deal he inked in the offseason. In the meantime, the backfield will be powered by Jacquizz Rodgers in Week 17 due to Charles Sims' (pectoral) placement on injured reserve Wednesday.

SUSDoug Martin
RB TB (6)
3 months ago

Martin was an excused absentee from Wednesday's practice, Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

EDGE Analysis

Coming off Martin's benching Saturday, head coach Dirk Koetter has already said the running back won't play in the regular season finale. Martin's DNPs to wrap up the season could be a sign the Bucs intend to move on in the offseason, but in the meantime, Jacquizz Rodgers is primed to serve as the No. 1 RB, with Charles Sims handling pass-catching duties.

SUSDoug Martin
RB TB (6)
3 months ago2 Comments

Martin will be inactive for Tampa Bay's final regular season game Sunday against Carolina, the Tamp Bay Times reports.

EDGE Analysis

Tampa Bay plans to sign Russell Hansbrough from the Giants' practice squad to add depth with Martin out. Martin was inactive for last week's game even though he was healthy and health isn't a factor for him missing Week 17, according to head coach Dirk Koetter. Martin's future with the Bucs looks in doubt as a result. Koetter wouldn't disclose his starting running back against Carolina, but Jacquizz Rodgers started in place of Martin last week.

SUSDoug Martin
RB TB (6)
3 months ago3 Comments

With reference to Martin being made inactive Saturday against the Saints, coach Dirk Koetter called the move a "coaches' decision" influenced by Tampa Bay's special teams needs, ESPN's Jenna Laine reports.

EDGE Analysis

With the Bucs wanting both Charles Sims and Peyton Barber available on special teams, Martin was the odd man out Saturday, while Jacquizz Rodgers -- who was a healthy scratch last week -- suiting up and serving as the team's lead back in Week 16. "We really only have room for one primary ball carrier right now," Koetter noted. "I felt like it was better for us this game to go with Jacquizz." Martin has missed six games this season with a hamstring injury, but his deactivation Saturday was not injury-related. Rather, a 2.9 yards per carry average on the season (down from his 4.9 YPC in 2015) is a more tangible reason for his surprising scratch. How Koetter handles the team's backfield in Week 17 remains to to be seen, but the Bucs do at least have a wafer thin chance of making the playoffs.