Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times mentioned during an interview with WDAE-AM 620 that the Buccaneers will have to address their running situation this offseason and he expects them to part ways with veteran RB Doug Martin.
“I don’t know that they will take a running back in the first round or maybe even the second, I don’t know,” Stroud said, via JoeBucsFan.com. “But you have to address the running back situation. I don’t think Doug Martin is going to be part of their plans, short- or long-term, in my opinion. That’s just me. [Due in part to Martin’s] history of injuries.”
Martin hasn’t lived up to his big-money contract he signed last year and was suspended four games for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy a month ago, so he’ll be forced to miss the start of the 2017 season.
Martin, 28, 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 $7 million while creating no dead money.
In 2016, Martin has rushed for 421 yards on 114 carries (2.9 YPC) to go along with 14 receptions for 134 yards receiving and three touchdowns. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 44 running back out of 62 qualifying players.