The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have released former first-round pick in running back Doug Martin on Tuesday morning after six seasons with the organization.
It’s the end of a tumultuous era in Tampa Bay Buccaneers football, as the Buccaneers have released the enigmatic running back that is Doug Martin. Tampa Bay drafted Martin No. 31 overall in the 2012 NFL Draft out of Boise State. While he is a two-time Pro Bowler and an All-Pro in 2015, a lack of consistency has brought an end to his time in Tampa.
Martin came into the league and set in on fire in 2012, as he rushed for 1,454 yards and 11 touchdowns as a rookie. His 1,926 yards from scrimmage in his first year in the league had him on the fast track to being a superstar in the league.
However, injuries and substance abuse issues certainly hindered his superstar potential in Tampa. While Martin would have his best season to date in 2015, where he made his second Pro Bowl and only All-Pro team, keep in mind that Tampa Bay did decline his fifth-year option for the 2016 NFL season.
That only proved to cost the Buccaneers more money, as Martin would ink a five-year deal worth over $35 million before the 2016 NFL season. This contract was to run through 2020, but Tampa Bay has since moved off it only two years in. A reason for this is that Martin had not eclipsed 500 rushing yards in four of his six NFL seasons. He had become a talented, but unreliable tailback in Tampa Bay.
The strange part in all of this is that Tampa Bay isn’t exactly a dominating running team to being with. Offensively, it is mostly about quarterback Jameis Winston throwing the ball deep downfield in head coach Dirk Koetter’s Air Coryell offense. Koetter will notoriously quickly abandon the run if it is not working for him out of the gate.
Martin is 29 years old and could have a second life in the NFL as a change of pace back if he lands with the right team. Getting cut could ignite a fire in the guy, but this could be the last we’ve seen of Martin in the NFL for all we know.
The best way to summarize Martin’s six years in Tampa Bay were when it was working, it was fantastic. When it was not, the offense sputtered considerably. Martin is a free agent. It will be interesting to see if he gets to continue his NFL career for a seventh year, obviously with another team in 2018.