There has been some optimism in recent days that a deal could get done to keep Martin in Tampa Bay.
Buccaneers GM Jason Licht told reporters at the Scouting Combine that he’s optimistic about retaining Martin and plans to meet with his agent in the coming days.
“I know he wants to be a Buc and we want him to be a Buc,” Licht said, per Rick Stroud. However, Licht did say that there still some “obstacles” that could impact negotiations.
Stroud previously reported that Martin is hoping to “hit the jackpot” this offseason and will likely test the free agent market.
Martin could be looking for a similar contract to the five-year, $40 million deal signed by Eagles RB DeMarco Murray last year, but it wouldn’t make a lot of sense for the Bucs to offer him this kind of money without knowing if that’s what he could get on the open market.
Should Martin move on, the Titans could be a team to watch, given that they could use a No. 1 running back and new GM Jon Robinson is familiar with Martin from his time in Tampa Bay.
Last year, the Buccaneers opted not to exercise his fifth-year option, 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.
In 2015, 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 featured in our Top 100 – 2016 Free Agents list.