New Buccaneers HC Dirk Koetter said that he wants impending free agent RB Doug Martin back next year.
“Tell Jason Licht that I want Doug Martin!” Koetter said smiling, via PewterReport.com. “Tell Jason. I’m putting my name on that. I want Doug Martin to be a Buc, so you tell him.”
“Who wouldn’t want Doug Martin back?” Koetter added. “He’s a terrific football player, so of course we would like to have him back. Jason’s got control of that and I think he wants Doug back, too, but you guys have to get him on that one. But I’m pretty sure he does.”
Buccaneers GM Jason Licht confirmed a few weeks ago that they’ve begun the process of discussing a long-term contract extension.
“We’ve already talked a little bit,’’ Licht said, via Roy Cummings of the Tampa Bay Tribune. “We will definitely be talking (more). We’d love to have Doug back.’’
Martin added that he loves playing in Tampa Bay and would like to return for the 2016 season.
“I love it here and I have a beautiful home here,’’ Martin said. “I’d love to come back. But right now I’m focused on our last game. I’m aware they’re talking, but I’ll let them handle that for now.’’
The Buccaneers opted not to exercise his fifth-year option back in May, which leaves him in position to test the open market.
Martin, 26, played out his four-year, $6,787,528 rookie contract, which included $5.472 million guaranteed. He made a base salary of $1,315,572 for the 2015 season before becoming an unrestricted free agent in the coming months.
This season, Martin ran for 1,402 yards on 288 carries (4.9 YPC) to go along with 33 receptions for 271 yards receiving and seven total touchdowns over the course of 15 games. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 2 running back out of 67 qualifying players.
We have Martin listed as the No. 16 player in our Top 50 – 2016 Free Agents list.