During the 2016 NFL season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looked like they were well positioned to be one of the most promising teams of the future. That year, the team did very well under the guidance of quarterback Jameis Winston, wide receiver Mike Evans, and running back Dough Martin.
While 2017 was supposed to be a year in which the team would take another step forward, they had a surprisingly bad season and finished with a record of just 5 wins and 11 losses. Furthermore, they looked completely outmatched by the other three teams in their division, each of which made the NFL Playoffs. While the Buccaneers did not have a great year in 2017, the team is already making moves to help prepare the team for the future.
Earlier this week, the Buccaneers announced that they were parting ways with running back Dough Martin (https://www.forbes.com/sites/vincentfrank/2018/02/20/tampa-bay-buccaneers-release-doug-martin-saving-6-8-million-in-cap-room/). Doug Martin was originally drafted by the team with the second to last pick in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft after he excelled at Boise State University. During his time with the team, Martin amassed about 4,600 yards rushing and scored 28 touchdowns. He was also named first-team All Pro in 2015 and is a two-time Pro Bowl player.
While Martin has been very good when he has been on the field, he has struggled with injuries. He has missed at least five games in four of his six NFL seasons and looked far less effective on the field this past season. At this point it appears that Tampa Bay is more focused on going with a younger unit and this move will help to save the team over $6 million in cap space over the next year.
This will likely not be the only move that the team makes during the offseason. The team also released defensive tackle Chris Baker. Baker has been in the NFL for 9 years, but only spent one in Tampa Bay. The team is also looking forward to the upcoming NFL draft in which they hold a very high selection. The team is rumored to be considering going with a defensive star and have their eyes on a couple of different defensive backs that should be available at their pick.