In a statement released Wednesday, Buccaneers RB Doug Martin announced that he’s being suspended four games for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy. Martin plans to enter a treatment facility to get the treatment he needs.
- Ian Rapoport reports that Martin’s suspension stems from Adderall and is part of the reason he’s entering a treatment facility.
- Adam Schefter reports that Martin’s suspension voids the $7 million guaranteed remaining in his contract next year.
Here’s Martin’s statement in full:
“I was notified last week of a four-game suspension for violating the league’s drug policy. My initial instinct was to appeal the suspension and finish the season with my teammates. However, after numerous discussions with people close to me – including Coach Koetter – I am starting the suspension immediately so I can enter a treatment facility and receive the help I truly need.
“On the field, I must be strong and determined to push through both pain and injuries to become an elite NFL running back. Off the field, I have tried that same approach in my personal life. My shortcomings in this area have taught me both that I cannot win these personal battles alone and that there is no shame in asking for help.
“I sincerely apologize to the Glazer family, General Manager Jason Licht and the entire Tampa Bay organization, my teammates and our tremendous fans. This was not the season I envisioned and I have let everyone down, including myself. However, adversity yields opportunity and I ask for your support in my battle to overcome these personal issues.”
Bucs GM Jason Licht also released the following statement regarding Martin:
“Doug has been a valued member of our organization for the past five seasons and we respect and support his decision to seek help. Right now, he is working through issues that are much larger than the game of football. Our primary concern is that he takes this time to focus on getting the help that he needs in order to move forward with his personal and professional life.”
It’s worth mentioning that Martin’s four-game suspension will spill over into the 2017 season, as we’re in the final week of the season.
Martin was not at practice on Wednesday but had an excused absence from the team.
The Buccaneers had Martin inactive last week, despite being healthy and HC Dirk Koetter announced yesterday that Martin wasn’t going to play in their regular season finale this weekend.
Unfortunately, the Bucs placed RB Charles Sims on season-ending injured reserve today, so they’re really limited at running back for Week 17.
Martin, 27, is a former first-round pick of the Buccaneers back in 2012. He’s currently in the first year of his five-year, $35.75 million contract that includes $15 million guaranteed. Martin stands to make a base salary of $4 million for the 2016 season.
According to OverTheCap.com, releasing Martin next year would free up no cap space while creating $7 million in dead money, so it’s possible they could attempt to trade Martin during the offseason to pick up some cap room. Otherwise, they would likely need to wait until 2018 to move on from him.
This season, Martin has rushed for 85 yards on 25 carries (3.4 YPC) to go along with five receptions for 34 yards receiving and no touchdowns.
We’ll have more regarding Martin and his future with the Buccaneers as the news is available.