Mileage Matters

April 30th, 2014

doug martin 0913Joe was loudly criticized a couple of weeks ago after suggesting Doug Martin might not have a long future with the Bucs.

Those who thought Joe was a complete moron might want to read former Packers salary cap chief Albert Breer’s new column about running backs’ value in the NFL. Martin’s uncertain future is touched upon.

But the story, via MMQB.com, isn’t about Martin. It’s an analysis of the sharply declining value of NFL running backs. Breer dives into how much teams don’t want to invest in running backs with mileage. Bellcow success rarely rewards RBs any longer.

Teams also have deeply devalued the position in the NFL Draft.

Speaking of rookies, the running back marketplace might be even bleaker. Since 2011 there have been four running backs taken in the first round. (None was taken last year for the first time since 1963). The highest one selected in 2012, third-pick Trent Richardson, was traded early in his second season.

The data on running backs being selected in the top four rounds is dramatic. In 2011, there were 14 backs drafted in the first four rounds—58% of the number drafted overall. Last year, there were seven—30% of all the backs drafted.

Other than Richardson, there has been no running back drafted higher than 27th in the last four seasons. Last year, the first running back drafted didn’t come off the board until pick No. 37. (Giovanni Bernard to Cincinnati). And according to the mega-analysis of this year’s draft, that trend will continue.

NFL teams are approaching running backs with less and less urgency, as it has become a position—save a few precious outliers—where “you can get a guy.”

And that brings Joe back to Martin. Joe would love to see Martin wearing Bucs colors. But with Mike James and Bobby Rainey on the roster, what would Lovie Smith and Jason Licht do if they could get, say, a second- and fourth-round pick for Martin next week? That’s serious ammunition they could use to trade up for another first-round pick, a guy who would have a lot more projected shelf life and projected value than Martin.

Again, Joe recommends you read the Breer piece linked above. Joe’s not lobbying for a trade, but it certainly wouldn’t shock Joe.

Joe can only wonder what the trusted analytics gurus at One Buc Palace are saying about Martin’s value after 446 NFL carries, declining production last year, and shoulder surgery on top of 617 college carries.

63 Responses to “Mileage Matters”

  1. Lue0615 Says:

    not going anywhere

  2. Snook Says:

    I doubt they’d trade Martin away to rely on two guys with less than 150 carries apiece…..

    If the Blount trade was dumb because it created a lack of depth, so would a Martin trade.

    And if the RB position has lost its luster in the NFL, what team would give up a 2nd round pick for a guy they’d be paying as a 1st rounder?

  3. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    Get rid of a Pro Bowl running back for a guy coming off a broken ankle and another one who was on the street and picked up in emergency circumstances by the Bucs? You must be joking.

  4. Couch Fan Says:

    Lol this is off topic but I just read that winston was arrested for shoplifting crab legs at publix? Anyone know if this is true? LMAO

  5. Macabee Says:

    I read the piece on Doug Martin and thought that Joe had gone off the deep end! He was roundly criticized and accused of Buc heresy. I looked at the stable of RBs at the Bucs and felt like it’s the one position where we were set. But are we? And Joe may not be all wet either!

    A couple of weeks ago, out of the blue the Bucs brought in RB Charles Sims, 6-0, 214lbs out of West Virginia for a workout at OBP. Sims is a Jahvid Best lookalike that has the size, speed, moves and pass-catching ability that no other Buc RB possesses collectively. NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks says “Charles Sims has Matt Forte-like talent”. YouTube highlights verify this similarity. Could Lovie want another Matt Forte? Could Tedford see Sims as a RB/WR skill set needed in his new offense? Is Doug, Mike, Bobby, or another Buc RB possible trade bait?

    Now, I’m still not crazy enough or brave enough to suggest that Martin, James, or Rainey could be traded. But somebody needs to explain why the Bucs are seriously (brought him in for a close-up, didn’t they?) looking at a RB slotted to go in the 4th round with all of the other more pressing offensive needs. Perhaps the members of our pen and mic club should inquire with Lovie and Licht, what’s up with the Sims visit. Stranger things have happened before! Never say never!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_ZLITZeR

  6. Kelvin Says:

    I would take that bait. It’s all about being smarter now. As much as I love having Martin as our feature back, league has changed and draft picks value is still well coveted. VALUE!!!

  7. Bucks_Sam Says:

    Joe the article does a good job of point out the resign market, not the cut market.

    Doug is safe, maybe he doesn’t get extended or resigned, but the article soldifies how safe he is.

    1.8 Mil for 2014, for a top 5 RB… a steal! The articles argues against giving him a third ( or maybe a second) deal, not cutting him when you are on the good side of the deal. Every team is looking to be where we are: paying rookie money for play maker performance.

    The Bucs are currently in an ideal situation, we are getting a top producer on a bargain. I love love love MJD, but he’s no Martin. They have roughly the same Salary Cap number this year, you do the math.

  8. Bucsfanman Says:

    Man, after reading the Breer article I really do feel for these guys. Long gone are the days of loyalty in general. Think about it; Martin is devalued for doing what he was brought in to do and excelling at it! What?!
    It suddenly becomes a lot easier to understand why players hold out or refuse pay cuts(ie. Revis).
    The thought of trading Martin makes me sick to my stomach. Then again, there is zero loyalty in this business so I wouldn’t be surprised if he was.

  9. Couch Fan Says:

    @Macabee

    I will say this much. If they are crazy enough to trade a good proven commodity for an unknown commodity. Just because it’s “their guy” we may be in big trouble. I understand the O-line changes and I have even come to grips with why they would move on from Williams. But to trade Doug, that is just senseless. If we arent winning come the end of this next season.. there will be ALOT of people calling for his head, just like Schiano.

  10. Mann Says:

    This is why I don’t visit this site daily like I used to. Because you’re getting goofy with this thing. Really? Are you that bored?

  11. Pookie Says:

    Winston was in Publix touching the legs of a woman suffering from the crabs.

  12. gt40bear Says:

    I don’t want to see him go anywhere but if the price is right…
    With enough extra picks, they could get creative and still pick up another back later in the draft if they felt the need. The price would have to blow me away though.

  13. Kelvin Says:

    Please go and check on this link bellow how many RBs have been scouted or reported visited with BUCS during this process. And it gives you an idea that research is been done and if we believe we are all set in RB position this would be wasted time and visits. I just believe there’s some truth to this and if some teams come asking about Martin they want to be able to at least consider VALUE of doing this.
    http://walterfootball.com/draft2014meetingsteam.php
    Let’s say a team that feels is close to get a championship by adding this kind of talent… And as I read from an experienced scout these days, teams prepare for draft by setting about 3 Tradeable players for them to consider during draft days. I think Martin, Glennon and Clayborn fit that bill. They have some value and are considered expendable.

  14. bucrightoff Says:

    Trading Martin is highly unlikely for the very reasons Joe mentioned in this article: Running backs have little to no value in todays NFL. You could make a very strong argument kickers are more valuable than running backs. I’d say the most the Bucs will get offered for Martin would be a 3rd round pick, which is pretty much the pick you’d use to replace him. If someone does offer a 2nd and a 4th you obviously have to consider it and probably take it. But again its not going to happen.

    The Browns traded Trent Richardson, brought in old man McGahee and he outrushed Trent. Kinda sums up where running backs are now in the NFL. For many their rookie contract may be the best one they see, unlike pretty much every other position.

  15. Vincente Says:

    I would hate to see Martin leave, But this years draft is loaded. If they could somehow trade Martin for two more draft picks then go for it. Of course your betting away a running back who has proven he’s a top 5 running back but if you can beef up the offensive line maybe add some depth then do it.

  16. BucTrooper Says:

    I just remember being at the Arizona game last season in my seat looking at Doug in the huddle. The Bucs wore the white jerseys with pewter pants. When the Bucs huddled up you could see that Doug’s jersey was about 4 shades DARKER than the rest of his teammates and it was only mid-2nd quarter. My wife, who is Doug’s BIGGEST fan, said VERY SADLY, “He’s not going to last, is he?”

  17. Bucsfanman Says:

    @Couch- True, Winston arrested on misdemeanor crab posession!

  18. Ian P. Says:

    Nothing should surprise us. This new regime seems to have no problem letting go of productive players in favor of “their own guys”, even if it means us season ticket holders have to sit through yet another losing season.

  19. deminion Says:

    Love Martin but if we can get a 2nd or something gimme the pics IMO I’m
    Just stayin RBs shelf life is declining

  20. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Give Martin a good OC….some blocking & another threat (Demps) on the field at 3rd WR or 2nd RB & you will see that Martin is well worth keeping…..

  21. tiny tim Says:

    Question…. If the running back position is “devalued” and teams feel they can “get a guy”, then who in the world is going to give the bucs a 2nd and a 4th rounder for Martin? Keep dreaming on that. Joe you are too funny

  22. Bucfan#37 Says:

    I am not for shopping Martin. I don’t believe any team will give up a 2nd and a 4th to get him. I am concerned about his recovery from injury, whether it’s 100 percent as stated. He has been great for the Bucs and the notion that good RB’s are a dime a dozen plentiful is exaggerated. Keep our appreciated Doug Martin.

  23. Couch Fan Says:

    If we put an offense out on the field with V-jax, a soft O-line and rookies all over the place. We are in big trouble. Might as well not even watch next season.

  24. Rob Says:

    Tiny Tim beat me to the punch. That’s my exact question. If the rb position is so devalued in today’s NFL, what GM I’m their right mind would offer up anything when they can just draft a guy they are comfortable with. Makes no sense.

  25. Bucsfanman Says:

    What trips me out is the number of posters here ready to ship Martin out for draft picks. Talk about lack of loyalty!

  26. chef paul Says:

    RB’s are a dime a dozen these days. They got Rainey off the streets and did just as much as Martin. They got James in the 7th and did just as much in his limited time. I love me some Dougie but if the price is right bitch, trade him. Dont think with your hearts.

  27. bucrightoff Says:

    Bucsfanman Says:
    April 30th, 2014 at 12:08 pm
    What trips me out is the number of posters here ready to ship Martin out for draft picks. Talk about lack of loyalty!
    __________________________________________________________

    Welcome to the NFL. It’s about results. Loyalty? When Peyton F’n Manning can get cut, there is no such thing as loyalty.

  28. Kelvin Says:

    @Tiny Tim, a team like 49ers could do that. They have more picks than “open spots” on the roster, so for them in case they feel they could use some real help in their backfield (Gore is getting old and expensive). And they would be better with a sure proven thing that can compete with anyone today that they are close to be a championship team. In 2-3 years a young RB won’t be able to help as much as Martin can help now! And if BUCS call to propose the trade at least they should consider. NEW ENGLAND same thing! These teams are all in mode now. They have too many picks and can become better this way than developing a young back. By then, Brady (NE) or Defensive Core (SF) could be done. In a very competitive league the window to a championship is even faster to close than many believe.

  29. RastaMon Says:

    Every year come Play Off time…the teams with a dominate running game prevail !

  30. Macabee Says:

    I’ve read all of the posts and a lot of them make sense. But nobody has explained why they were looking at another speedy RB with WR skills that is slotted for the 4th round (not a UDFA). Smokescreen? Don’t understand that! Just looking to be looking? Maybe! Maybe Joe should just ask them before the draft.

    As I said before, I can’t envision them trading Doug, but I thought Penn and Joseph should have at least gotten a reduced offer, so who knows?

  31. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Martin is going nowhere this year. Period.

    As to the devaluing of RBs, I think that has to do with the new rules and where future rules will lead. The NFL is quickly becoming a passing league.

    How long until RBs are not permitted to lower their heads while running?

    I think the trend is leaning toward passing, so the picks are too. But the NFL comes in cycles. Sooner or later it will come back around.

    A team will go old school and totally wipe out the competition, and the trend will leans back in that direction. It might not happen for a few years though.

  32. Tackleblockwin Says:

    Hmm. Well looking at the numbers provided about RBs taken in 1st rd I must say the sample size is pretty small and does not really provide enough evidence to suggest a trend. Though this draft I believe few RBs will be taken in 1st rd, we must remember that RBs do more than carry the ball. RBs will always be important in the NFL. As far as Martin, he is going nowhere. James and Rainy might have promising futures, but neither have Doug’s ridiculous skillset.

  33. Thegregwitul Says:

    I don’t think Doug Martin is going anywhere just based on how little of a market there is for RBs. To trade him for a mid round pick would be pointless, as Doug is still young and signed to a rookie contract. I don’t think the new regime will run Martin into the ground, let alone send him out deep for long bombs. But if a team came in a proposed trading a 2nd and 4th for Martin, I do believe Lovie and Licht would make the deal, as they could find another RB late in the draft and go with Mike James and Bobby Rainey. I just don’t think another team would want to part with multiple draft picks to acquire a RB, especially if one of those picks is in the first two rounds. The Trent Richardson debacle only helps to enforce this belief.

    I expect Dougie to stick around and I think he’ll bounce back to have a strong season.

  34. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    On the bright side, if offenses lean toward passing games, defenses will start leaning toward stopping the passing games, making it easier and easier for the running backs to thrive.

    Cycles.

  35. Maze Says:

    If Jason Licht were able to receive a 2nd and 4th round draft picks for Martin he would immediately be the front runner for GM of the year

  36. Gusjackson Says:

    Ok Joe stay with me here. The bucs were 32 rank offense last year, why would you take the only player that gives us explosiveness. No. Maybe down the road when his contract comes into talks come but not now. Trade James or Raibey but Martin means too much too much to the team right now

  37. Gusjackson Says:

    @rob Makes no damn sense

  38. Chef Paul Says:

    Here’s my theory. Take if you want or tell me to get fudged.

    The responses in this thread tell me some people think the value of a RB is still strong, and some people think it has diminished. I believe its probably is the same in the NFL community.

    If a team is willing to give up a 1st for Trent Richardson, who has done nothing in the NFL, there just might be a team willing to give up that, or a 2nd and 4th for Dougie.

  39. Couch Fan Says:

    @Chef Paul

    How can you say James and Rainey has done just as much? Martin is a 1000 yard back. neither of them have come anywhere close to accomplishing that. Martin has shown to be a stud through an entire season. And you think James and Rainey can replace that just because they looked good in a handful of games?

    Thats a HUGE gamble that I personally would not want to take.

  40. Chef Paul Says:

    Couch,

    I should have elaborated more. What i mean is, last year our O-line was awful, and Dougie couldn’t get anything done. His rookie year, the O-line played very well. It’s my belief that the O-line is more than half the reason for a running backs success or failure.

  41. Chef Paul Says:

    Of course there are outliers. Peterson and Lynch might not need a good O-line, but I think last year proved Doug does need a good O-line. And I agree. It is a huge gamble. I wouldn’t mind if they took that gamble though.

  42. Buc1987 Says:

    Martin is the only current player on the roster that I have a jersey for. Therefore they will listen to me and not trade him.

  43. deminion Says:

    Get the pics!

  44. Buc1987 Says:

    In 2013 from what I could tell Martin was not waiting for his blocks to set up. It seemed to me that he just charged ahead expecting a hole to open. The holes never got opened.

  45. Rob Says:

    Chef Paul, you make a great point. That is a bit of a reach and as you said, he hasn’t done much. I guess the Colts really valued him coming out of Bama and felt what they thought would be a late first round was a steal. It only takes one team who “values” running backs. After last year, that should include the Bucs. We had 3 running backs on the IR.

  46. biff barker Says:

    Are the Bucs actively shopping Martin or just putting out feelers for draft day trade options? That’s the big question here.
    Given the surplus of talent we have, you have to consider he’s being shopped.

  47. Theodore Says:

    No one is giving up a 2 and a 4 for a RB coming off injury.

  48. Buc1987 Says:

    Biff….Joe is shopping Martin.

  49. Patrick Says:

    I wouldn’t root for this team anymore if they got rid of Martin.

  50. Bucsfanman Says:

    @Bucrightoff- I get you. To elaborate further, the NFL is purely a business nowadays. It just seems to me like there are a lot of people ready to trade every semblance of a Buccaneer player for a draft pick. It’s like we know what Martin can do but lets trade him for someone that nobody knows what he can do. See what I’m saying?
    The Colts knew they’d get Luck. What will the Bucs get?

  51. bucrightoff Says:

    The assumption is Rainey and James will provide comparable value in terms of production; when you can add more picks to Rainey and James, the value becomes very strong. I’d rather not trade Martin because I believe at his best he is a top 5 player at his position, but if someone wants to come over the top with a strong offer, it has to be considered. I’m all about maximizing value.

  52. Dick2111 Says:

    Sorry Joe, but I think you’re trying to stir up a hornet’s nest on this one. Neither Lovie nor Jason has given even the slightest indication that they’d use Doug Martin as trade bait. Quite the opposite: Lovie has indicated more than once that he considers Martin to be his bell-cow.

    Seems to me that those NFL teams that are doing the best nowadays are those that do in fact show loyalty to their players, certainly to those who perform well on the field. It’s just good business. Admittedly there are other considerations (it is a business after all), but still it pays to treat well those who perform well.

  53. Joe Brown Says:

    So if the position is being de valued, then why would anyone give a #2 and 4 for him. It makes no sense. He will be here until his contract is up

  54. biff barker Says:

    Buc1987, I don’t think Joe is shopping Martin. It’s an interesting situation. I’m a Martin fan and would love to keep him, but he’s one of the few Buc players on the roster that’s got the talent to draw interest elsewhere.

  55. nate Says:

    I say no unless we swap picks with browns and swap 2nd round pick as well.. id think about it…hopefully clowney or mack would be there….

  56. Ernest T. Bass Says:

    When we are wearing our JBF T-shirts with our handles on them at RayJay, there may be one or two scrums!!

  57. BucFever Says:

    Winston headline should read,”Winston taken to jail for having crabs!” NO No Hell No to trading Martin. Next thing you know Joe will suggest trading Glennon> lol.

  58. BoJim Says:

    FLBoyInDallas Said:

    “Get rid of a Pro Bowl running back for a guy coming off a broken ankle and another one who was on the street and picked up in emergency circumstances by the Bucs? You must be joking.”

    I agree. Twice.

  59. Buc1987 Says:

    biff …I don’t think the Bucs are shopping Martin either. So that leaves us with Joe.

  60. Kelvin Says:

    Please go and check on this link bellow how many RBs have been scouted or reported visited with BUCS during this process. And it gives you an idea that research is been done and if we believe we are all set in RB position this would be wasted time and visits. I just believe there’s some truth to this and if some teams come asking about Martin they want to be able to at least consider VALUE of doing this.
    http://walterfootball.com/draft2014meetingsteam.php
    Let’s say a team that feels is close to get a championship by adding this kind of talent… And as I read from an experienced scout these days, teams prepare for draft by setting about 3 Tradeable players for them to consider during draft days. I think Martin, Glennon and Clayborn fit that bill. They have some value and are considered expendable.

    @Tiny Tim, a team like 49ers could do that. They have more picks than “open spots” on the roster, so for them in case they feel they could use some real help in their backfield (Gore is getting old and expensive). And they would be better with a sure proven thing that can compete with anyone today that they are close to be a championship team. In 2-3 years a young RB won’t be able to help as much as Martin can help now! And if BUCS call to propose the trade at least they should consider. NEW ENGLAND same thing! These teams are all in mode now. They have too many picks and can become better this way than developing a young back. By then, Brady (NE) or Defensive Core (SF) could be done. In a very competitive league the window to a championship is even faster to close than many believe.

  61. Kevin Says:

    A first or second and fourth would be worth doing. I don’t know WHY THE HELL everyone is speaking so highly of Bobby Rainey. The guy did NOTHING after one good game and another game with a lucky 95 yard run. After that ….NOTHING TO BRAG ABOUT!!! The only thing I don’t like about trading Martin is that this team does need to have some bonds established among the players and him sticking around along with McCoy and David would be nice to see. So I guess I’m on the fence but if it happens lets hope it get’s them back into the first round. I think James will be able to carry the load no problem. And again…Mike James sixth round pick. Nuff said.

  62. Jim Says:

    If you have an elite QB you can plug in any RB and be successful. But if you don’t have an elite QB than having a deep stable of RB is critical.

  63. lion Says:

    Joe you are really coming out of left field with this one. Where in the article does Breer mention anything about Martin’s future with the Bucs? Doug Martin’s name was only mentioned one time in the entire article and it is completely unrelated to this article regarding Martin’s future with the team.

    The only thing mentioned about Martin was Breer debating if there are in RBs in the NFL right now that will get paid Foster/McCoy/Rice money in the future and that the only ones that have a chance are Martin, Morris, and a couple of others.

    Where on Earth did you get the assumption that this article has anything to do with Martin’s future with the Bucs? The article was about the monetary/financial value of the RB position, and had zero to do with where RBs will play or that they are not valued by teams on the field. If anything, this article by Albert Breer is telling me that the odds of Doug Martin staying with the team are even greater considering it won’t cost the Bucs much money to keep him around after his first contract is up.

 
 

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