The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a lot to consider when it comes to their running back Doug Martin and his potential future.
There is a very strong feeling in the air that suggests that the Bucs are looking for someone else to become the starting running back for their team in the 2017 season, because they have readily admitted that they aren’t fully committed to him for this upcoming season.
Martin did not dress for the week 16 game at the New Orleans Saints and then found himself suspended for the next four games for violating an NFL policy. Because of this, the Bucs are no longer obligated to guarantee he plays for them next season when he is due for a $7 million salary. Head coach Dirk Koetter, who just finished his first season with the team, noted that Martin was in town the past week, stopped by the office and looked to be completely healthy. After that he is scheduled to go back to California to train until other players return in April.
What makes things easier for the Bucs in terms of what to do with Martin is the fact the NFL Draft this year is stocked with several impressive running backs, including Leonard Fournette out of LSU, Dalvin Cook from Florida State and Christian McCaffrey out of Stanford. The team will be looking at all possible options but it is very likely they’ll reach a final decision after the draft.
Martin has not been the same player over the course of his five year career. He was drafted out of Boise State in 2012 and ran for over 1,400 yards that year and scored eleven rushing touchdowns, earning a Pro Bowl nod at the end of the season. Since that time, he has struggled to stay healthy and at the end of the 2016 season he only played in eight games and had a career low of 2.9 yards per carry.