Don’t Re-Sign Doug Martin Until After The Season

November 24th, 2015

DougMartineyesRunning backs worth a big investment need to prove they can finish a season and be healthy enough for nasty physical playoff football.

Doug Martin hasn’t done that since 2012.

Joe doesn’t think the Bucs should break any bank for Martin unless he can come out of this season healthy and strong. Rushing to ink Martin now, like many have suggested — and even Lovie Smith suggested — is just plain silly.

If Martin gets through this season healthy and with a couple more 100-yard games, then he’s probably looking at 1,400+ rushing yards and a golden ticket in free agency. Martin could approach DeMarco Murray money on the open market, about $18 million guaranteed as part of a deal that pays him $8 million a year.

Great. Pay Martin what he’s worth. But don’t pay him until he gets through a full season.

Joe would even consider dropping the franchise tag on Martin and making him prove one more time that he can grind out a full season. In fact, Martin might be the perfect candidate for that franchise tag.

Regardless, Martin should want to stay with the Bucs. First, he recently bought a house in Tampa and claims he loves the area. Second, what running back would want to bail from this Bucs offensive line, plus a head coach who deeply loves to run the football? Lastly, playing with America’s Quarterback, Jameis Winston, should keep defenses from stacking the box against the Bucs for years to come.

Good running backs are easy to find. Great ones are not.

If Martin gets through this season healthy and strong, then he’ll have proven that he’s great. But until then, he’s just another talented guy trying to get through a season at the most brutal position in the game.

26 Responses to “Don’t Re-Sign Doug Martin Until After The Season”

  1. Abilu Says:

    Lol this is a joke. the longer we wait to complete a deal with Dougie the worse are our chances to resign him. Thank goodness Licht isn’t that foolish to go by your logic. Lol.

  2. Sumo Says:

    Wow Joe, point taken. I’m a big fan too but when did fans become the guys that make the decisions for the GM and want to control how they spend the Glazer’s money?

  3. Another J Says:

    Pay the man!

  4. WalkdaPlank Says:

    I agree Joe, still about half a season to go (maybe playoffs?), he’s not going anywhere between now and then. However, barring injury *knock on wood* Dougie should certainly hit well over 1000 yards.

    Don’t dare let him slip through the cracks and fall to another team.

  5. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    It works both ways……if we wait and Martin plays well the rest of the season and is healthy….then he has the upper bargaining hand.

    I say…..approach him after he has a bad game….if he has one.

    A good time would have been before the Philadelphia game…..

    Also, leave it to the GM to make the decision on timing.

  6. Buccfan37 Says:

    Doug is not going anywhere, this is Muscle Hamster Central. The other teams are salivating to snatch the human bowling ball away. He is ours and you ain’t getting him.

  7. JollyBucsFan Says:

    Franchise tag, problem solved, no reason to sign him now, sign him to an extension next year mid season if he is still healthy and playing well

  8. Matthew Says:

    There is ZERO reason to extend him midseason. We have his rights, RB market is one of the few positions that teams are no longer over paying for, the franchise tag is actually pretty cheap if we have to do that, but any dope advocating to overpay when he’s at his peak value really shouldn’t run a business. It’s a negotiation whether you like the guy or not, and you don’t give away all your leverage (the franchise tag) just because you like him. I like Doug, let him finish the year strong and than he can talk a reasonable extension.

  9. Brent Says:

    Franchise tag. Realistically nfl running backs have a short life 5-6 years and are easy to find. Relatively speaking.

  10. D-Rome Says:

    Great article Joe and I agree with all your talking points on this one. I also agree with Brent’s comments right above me. Doug Martin has been valuable to the Bucs **this year**. I would understand and agree with the sentiment on extending him during the season if he’s been putting up these kind of numbers over the past three season. Fact is, he hasn’t so there isn’t any rush.

  11. Bobby Says:

    Look, DeMarco Murray was great behind Dallas’ line but not so much behind Philly’s. Good running backs can be found in the mid rounds in the draft. Martin is very good but I wouldn’t break the bank on him. Good O-lines make good running backs look great. I don’t think Doug will try to get DeMarco Murray money because I don’t think another team will pay him that kind of money. He deserves to get paid but personally I would use the franchise tag if he demands too much. I think Doug wants to stay in Tampa and they’ll work something out.

  12. 813bucboi Says:

    I don’t like the franchise tag idea…if he continues to have success and stays healthy then pay the man after the season…I would only use the tag if a deal cant get done…using the tag and making him prove his worth for another year is just wrong…you run the risk of having a disgruntle player for the whole year and that may effect other players when its time for them to resign…I understand its a business but you have to take care of the players that you draft…its not like the guy had trent richerson type production…doug was hurt for one year and played behind a horrible oline the next that would’ve made jim brown demand a trade….GO BUCS!!!

  13. BuccaneerBonzai Says:


    Apparently you missed the “Franchise tag” part of his post.

    I say don’t resign him this off season at all. Franchise Tag him next year (if he gets thru this season healthy) and make him prove himself again, but with an improve offensive line and a better all around team.

    We won’t “LOSE HIM” at all if it plays out like that.

    I understand the fears you have of losing him, but the Bucs have resigned players before after one good contract year and it bit them in the arse.

    If he can string two years together, all the better. Plus, at that point it will become more of a way of life to play like that, rather than just doing it for the contract.

  14. BuccaneerBonzai Says:


    If he gets “disgruntled” over making more money next year than he would otherwise, then maybe resigning him at all is a bad idea. The Franchise Tag is the way to go.

  15. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Are people under the impression that Dougie will be paid like a top tier running back? Not going to happen. If he is smart, he’ll take that franchise tag to the bank.

    Doug is around 800 yards so far. He hasn’t even hit the 1,000 yard mark this year. Frankly, he needs to hit 1,400+ yards this year to even earn the franchise tag.

    People seem to forget…the tag can be negated by a deal getting done during next season…though I don’t know why he wouldn’t want the tag since it will pay him probably twice what he’ll make on a contract.

  16. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    And, btw…Sims is starting to look better too. Not Martin better, but better.

    Another season and he might just be good enough to start.

  17. Defense Rules Says:

    All RBs are only as good as the OLine they play behind, their QB and their OC. Doug has looked really good this year, but not so good in the previous 2 years behind a less-than-sterling OLine, average QB and mediocre OC’s (when he wasn’t injured that is).

    Like most everyone else commenting, I hope that the Bucs keep him, even if it means playing the franchise tag card. Not in favor of overpaying him though … players need to stay hungry to perform at their best. Very good RBs can now be found in the 3rd and 4th rounds of the draft, as can some top RBs in free agency willing to sign relatively short contracts.

  18. Pickgrin Says:

    Franchise tag for a running back is about $11M. That is almost double what Doug Martin is actually worth. Bad idea.

    If Martin insists he is worth a huge 2nd contract – then we have to consider letting him test free-agency.

    Make an offer at the end of the season for a 3 year deal totaling $20M with a nice $5M signing bonus and then let the chips fall where they may. Good teams do NOT overpay for running backs – and we are trying to be a good team….

  19. BoltIsle Says:

    Something to keep in mind about free agency.

    Jameis is going to be a HUGE draw for people to come to Tampa. Hard to believe that players around the league aren’t seeing the excitement he is generating here and helping turn this thing around so quickly. Look at how Mankins and Smith are 180 from where they were last year.

    Doug is benefitting from Jameis being here as much as its his contract year. I’d bet he might take a little less to stay here and see this thing through.

  20. JAB83 Says:

    Yeah that’s what I have been thinking and kinda saying… Good article Joes!!!

  21. Warren Says:

    A few points:

    1. His injury was to his shoulder. Never had knee or leg injuries. He has fresh and healthy legs.
    2. His “regression” last year was because we had NO offense. No O-line, no NFL level offensive coordinator/gameplan. No QB to speak of.
    3. He’s not playing right now at an “ok” level. Not average or middling or “productive”. Doug Martin is playing at a transcendent and elite level. An irreplaceable offensive weapon type level. Spare me the Sims comparisons. He doesn’t break tackles or create something from nothing. Sims is a great complement to Martin’s genius.

    You sign this guy and you sign him now while he believes in this team and wants to be here.

  22. Pick6 Says:

    RBs are so tricky. it’s hard to tell until years after the fact whether an RB is great or just had a great season or 2. great rushing seasons are almost always the product of an 11-man effort. clearly the RB matters more than any other single player, but especially lately you just don’t see RBs live up to their second contract

  23. Pick6 Says:

    also worth considering that he will comfortably top the 300 carry mark this year. RBs don’t tend to show the effects of a high-carry season until the year after. franchise him, platoon even more next year, then pay him based on a more modest 240-ish carry season next year that may also extend his useful career in the backfield

  24. Pick6 Says:

    *or maybe the transition tag. lower cap number, and if a team makes him an offer we don’t want to match, we get a pick in the neighborhood of where we landed charles sims 2 drafts ago i think.

  25. Killian Says:

    Sims is averaging 4.5 yards per carry and 10.6 yards per catch this season. It wouldn’t be a big blow if we lost Martin to free agency. Doug has been average in 6 of our 10 games this year. I’m not saying he’s a bad RB, I’m just saying that we shouldn’t overspend in this situation. He has yet to show consistency year in and year out. Franchise tag him if there are no other players worthy of it and lets see how he does next year.

  26. Brett Says:

    The only reason I would say sign him now would be to count him towards this year’s cap.