Kill The “Can’t Overpay” Argument

February 15th, 2016

doug martin 1021Joe literally shakes in disgust when Bucs fans bark about how Tampa Bay “can’t overpay” for Doug Martin, as if there’s some sort of magic formula of salary cap management.

Hell, the counter argument lives on their own team.

Meet Vincent Jackson. He’s due just under $10 million in 2016, the final year of his five-year free agent contract. On paper, Jackson is not worth the money. At 33 years old, he’s coming off a season in which he played half the year and had two knee injuries. He’s good, but not the player once was.

But the Bucs need Jackson. He is a critical cog in the offense. That was painfully obvious last year. Barring a last-minute change of course, the Bucs will and should pay Jackson for 2016 — with no guarantee of him returning in 2017.

Why shouldn’t Martin at least be paid $11 million (the franchise tag value) for the same one year support Jackson will bring?

People cite Jackson’s great leadership, but be real. The Bucs have four consecutive last-place finishes under Jackson’s captaincy. They can lose without him.

Martin’s leadership is never mentioned. But his tremendous work ethic and success last year, and grinding through nagging injuries in 2014, had to be a strong influence on Charles Sims.

Bringing back Martin for 2016, for this team, for this head coach, for this quarterback, should be a no-brainer that has nothing to do with money.

48 Responses to “Kill The “Can’t Overpay” Argument”

  1. The Buc Realist Says:

    Maybe because VJ has brought it every single year of his contract!! this last year was the blip on the radar!!!

    On DM22 there are a lot of blips!! The question is how do you keep “Contract year Martin” ??? Do the Bucs overpay, but have options to get out in 2years??? do they do a heavy incentive deal??? or if another team has in insane contract for DM22 they let him walk and pick up a compensastory pick and go with their deep RB roster??? I think that is the three options at this point!!!

  2. Tampa Tony Says:

    They are the Bucs they are a losing organization they HAVE to over pay players to come here and stay here.

  3. Rob Says:

    The answer is that neither are worth $10-11 million range. Smart teams dont over pay platers just because they have the money. Period. Stop making this stupid argument. You can pay 3 good, young RB’s for the price of the franchise tag. You can pay 2 solid WR’s for the price of 1 old, injury prone VJax. No one wants to see them go, but stop being a moron Joe. It’s getting old.

  4. bucs4life86 Says:

    I agree Joe, pay the man what he wants, salary cap is not a issue for this team and hasn’t been for a long time. Dougy means way to much to this offense, he carried this offense on his back last season, there’s no way Jameis has the season he had without #22 running his @$$ off, let’s not forget he was a couple yards away from being the leading rusher last season! Dougy’s a BEAST! to loose him over a couple extra $ would be idiotic! PAY THE MAN!!!!!

  5. destro44 Says:

    I think we shouldn’t over pay for Martin in a long term deal that likely leaves us in Cap Hell when it’s time to resign Jameis. Jackson can be overpaid because we can afford an expensive 1yr, for this reason I still believe the best move with Martin is the franchise tag 1yr at high $$ to continue Jameis development, by year 3 Jameis should be able to carry a rookie running back and we will have tons of money freed up.

  6. BuccaneerBonzai Says:


    I CANNOT believe I am about to say this…

    I agree with The Buc Realist…

    …holy crapola, that hurt.

  7. mike Says:

    Pay Doug whatever he wants as long as its douggy year 1 and Douggy year 4. Douggy year 2 and 3 should go play for the saints or Falcons. I’m not concerned about the dollars, its the years. Give him a Domminick contract where its a little more pay as you go.

  8. bucs4life86 Says:

    There is no one out there close to being on Dougy’s level, Chuck Sims is the perfect compliment to #22, not a work horse. Your gonna have to over pay ivory or Miller to get them here anyways and there no dougy fresh. Sorry. It was ridiculous how many tackles he broke at the line of scrimmage!!! You gotta think he’s only played to full seasons so far because of injurys, so he’s still got another 3 good seasons in him. He doesn’t have break away speed but I’ll take the broken tackles over speed any day. Look @ beast mode, does he have break away speed? No he breaks tackles that’s what makes him a beast.

  9. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Here’s the bottom line on Martin….

    …this (last) year he proved he is capable of being among the best. He didn’t let anything slow him down. There were games where he was banged up…but he did not wuss out.

    The question is whether it was because he was in a contract year and just wanted a paycheck, or whether he intends to do the same from now on.

    Joe, you mentioned his work ethic last year. Yes, he had a good one. But the previous two years? He did not. He was heavier and out of shape. Injuries have nothing to do with conditioning during off seasons. He came in each season unprepared.

    So what we really have is this…

    1 rookie year of high energy and effort to prove himself.
    2 years of poor conditioning after making the effort to “prove” himself and earn a roster spot
    1 contract year to prove himself in order to get a new contract and bigger paycheck.

    What everyone should be concerned about is whether he will get paid and then get lazy again.

    His pattern of behavior suggests that is exactly what he will do. He did it for two years after his rookie year.

    THAT is why I agree he should be franchised. We might pay more (really we wouldn’t compared to 1 year salary and bonus), but it makes him have to prove himself again.

    The result, if he does indeed prove himself, is that he will have put TWO years of production together (back to back) instead of one. He will then have had 3 of 5 years of production.

    Because as of now…he is a 50-50 chance of continuing to be good. Make him prove himself and he will be 60-40 the following year.

  10. Commissioner Says:

    If a first time eligible player really likes the organization he is in (Martin says he does), and the organization really likes him (the head coach says he does), assuming the player will just chase the money seems a bit disrespectful. Yes, Martin does deserve to get paid; he knows it, and so do the Bucs. Jason Licht repeatedly says he wants to build through the draft. That does not work if you pick good players, develop them into top tier players, and then send them on their way at the end of their rookie contracts. From Martin’s perspective, he wants to be a on a team with play off potential, a strong offensive line, and a smart offensive play caller. There are several teams like that, but are any of them the teams likely to get into a bidding war with the Bucs? I’ll be surprised if Martin doesn’t sign before free agency.

  11. scott fitzgerald Says:

    Vjax is so valuable because he can play every position a WR can play in the offense. He can line up anywhere as in X Y Z and be where he needs to be.

  12. The Buc Realist Says:

    Let me just throw this out there!! Now that anchor of lovie smith has been casted overboard. What if Keotter goes more to his 4 vert offense now that JW3 is no longer a rookie and Koetter is not ordered for a heavy run game to protech lovie’s under weight exhuasted in the 3rd quarter defense?? 4 vert offense is a lot less hand off run and more pass blocking ( which is not DM22 strength) and more screen passes!! What if DM22 is not as valuable and you can pickup a 3rd round compensatory pick for 2017!!!

  13. Bob in Valrico Says:

    that 11 mil would take a huge chunk out of the first two years of his contract.use it to lock him in to a four year deal.We have a good run blocking line.
    no reason to think that doug can’t be successful behind it.This line is a luxury compared to what he had to run behind the two seasons before this one.

  14. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    mike Says
    Dominick contract where its a little more pay as you go.”

    Bad idea.

    Based off this year, giving him up to $11 million next year is justified. It’s the following years that the concern is about. If you increase his pay from year to year, that leads to cap issues.

    Not that what I think matters to the Bucs, but I would structure the contract around production, games played, games started and health. Give him a base salary…and then load it with milestones.

    Salary: $250,000 per game played. Total for season salary $4,000,000
    Season ending bonus if plays in all 16 games $1,000,000
    Bonus for reaching 1,000 yards $250,000
    Bonus for reaching 1,300 yards another $250,000
    Bonus for reaching 1,500 yards another $500,000
    Bonus for reaching 10 Touchdowns $250,000
    Bonus for reaching 15 Touchdowns $250,000
    Bonus for reaching 20 Touchdowns $500,000
    Add a injury buyout clause.

    Total contract value after bonuses? $7,000,000

    He would have to work his butt off to earn the full value, so the Bucs would get their money’s worth.

  15. SteveK Says:

    Sorry Joe (presumably Lee), but Martin is not the best back in football. He gets caught from behind, and has been a 50/50 performer during his first contract. Doug is good, but not the best.

  16. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Oops, forgot the year one signing bonus of $2,000,000 and that it is a 4 year deal, making the value $30,000,000

    No guarantees.

  17. Luther Says:

    Let’s define smart teams. Smart Teams are teams that have good established QBs. Teams that typically pay more than market value, do so because they struggle for wins. Jameis isn’t quite there yet so we still have to pay more than market value until he establishes himself.

  18. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Frankly, I don’t see why all players contracts are not structured by production.

  19. BuccaneerBonzai Says:


    Game one…Martin gets season ending surgery. Sims steps in, and it turns out that as a starter behind a rapidly improving line, he is just as good as Martin. Or better.

    Then what?


  20. BuccaneerBonzai Says:


    I think all teams overpay for free agents. To me, Free Agency is the biggest rip off ever.

    You have aging veterans, usually at or past 30, trying to convince people their bodies are not going to break down…and in most cases, they do break down.


    You have one year wonders who finally see a chance to get paid.


    You have undrafted or young players anxious to prove themselves (some of which only want a paycheck)

    OR you have washed up players hoping to just make a roster so they get paid for doing little.

    Occasionally, a great player shows up that has 1-2 years left of good production. Simeon Rice we got lucky with. We got him at 27. He had played out his contract (missed the first game of his last year) and negotiations broke down. He became a free agent.

    The Bucs gave him #30+ million for 5 years. Worth it.He had 11+ sacks ever year but his last.

    At age 32 (which is the age of many of these veterans you people want), he signed with the Broncos, where he had ZERO sacks…and retired.

    So the Broncos got stiffed in the deal.

    The smart teams look for young players without health issues. Veterans are fine…provided they are no older than 28. Why 28? Because it gives 2-years of good production (if a good player).

    Any player older than 28 should only get one year deals.

  21. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    All of this talk about Greg Hardy and Mario Williams…forget it.

    Hardy is a cancer.

    Williams own teammates called him out this year for his work ethic.

    Sure, we WANT to think he just was not a good fit in the Bills new defense…but at age 31, it is also possible he has entered his decline. EVEN if that is not the case…we would be lucky to get 1-2 years of good play from him.


    A guy like, say, Olivier Vernon.

    He is 25. Four years in the league. Has shown signs of being very good. He has 29 sacks in 4 years, for an average of 7+ sacks per year. Consistency.

    Sign him. Draft a top DE in round 1. and we have a completed, killed DL.

  22. Luther Says:

    @BuccaneerBonzai I agree with you to a point. Good players usually don’t hit FA market. However, if you are a team desperate for a player at a certain position, you will overpay, especially if you have really sucked.

  23. biff barker Says:

    This debate will rage on till the ink dries. Somewhere. But wherever it gets signed, that team is going to overpay.

  24. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    You can a player…..but how about 2…..what about 3……sooner or later you have to take the reasonable course…..

    I think we can work out a deal with Vjax that is a win-win….

    I wouldn’t pay the franchise price for Martin….surely we can work out a two or three year deal that works for the team and player….

    The kind of overpaying for me is paying anything for a player that doesn’t perform.

  25. Rrsrq Says:

    Look no further than the Cowboys, let D. Murray walk, he and that Cowboys o-line worked extremely well together, Doug wants to be here, the o-line wants him here, Jameis and Dirk wants him here and I bet the D wants him here, not calling him Alstott, but his runs fired up Sapp, Lynch, Brooks and company, don’t chance it. Tough runs fire the team up.

  26. godzilla13 Says:

    How bad do you want to win?

  27. Ray Rice Says:

    Give him a 3-4 year deal. By then he will be in his 30’s and Simms will hopefully be ready to take over.

  28. Erik with Clean Athletics Says:

    I agree. It’s a no-brainer. We have to bring Doug back at whatever price.

    Any argument saying otherwise is totally illogical.

  29. Trubucfan22 Says:

    whatever we pay doug, it isnt “overpaying”. It’s not like he going to get adrian peterson money. He will get demarco murray money. Which is the market value for RBs. Top teir of RBs get 8 mil a year, why wouldnt we pay doug what he deserves?

  30. SteveK Says:

    Erik with Clean Athletics Says:
    February 15th, 2016 at 10:09 am
    I agree. It’s a no-brainer. We have to bring Doug back at whatever price.

    Any argument saying otherwise is totally illogical.


    C’mon, Erik! Just like Mariota was the pick?

    Martin should be resigned, but not at “whatever price”. Martin has had 2 good seasons out of 4 in the league. And, Martin always gets caught from behind. I will agree that he is a wonderful player, but he is not a $ 10 million RB.

  31. BigHogHaynes Says:

    PAY YHE MAN (He played well in a contract year)……what was he supposed to do the Bucsdid not pick up the option on his first contract so now we pay as well we should, last year (2014) he played behind the worst O-Line dare I say in Bucs History, re work the contracts on Mr Mankins and Mr V Jack and show Doug the mony!!!

  32. gotbbucs Says:

    I can see a front loaded 3 or 4 year deal. Martin impressed me this year, I didn’t think he had it in him. There were quite a few times that he made this oline look better than what they were actually playing. That said, running backs come and go a lot in today’s game.
    Martin and Sims had a good thing going last year and I would hate to start over at this particular time, especially with James still learning and the oline isn’t a finished unit yet.

  33. gotbbucs Says:


  34. Erik with Clean Athletics Says:

    Then franchise him & pay the $11mil next year as a tribute to his performance this season & to have him prove that he can be consistently productive. Bottom line, we can’t let him walk and have tons of unspent cap money going into the season. That would be ludicrous.

  35. Buccfan37 Says:

    DM22 has the initial burst and toughness to bust off tackles through the line into open field while being run down by faster defenders, I’ll take that every Sunday gameday. He is short and muscled, not a speed demon capable of going the entire field. What is not to like about his effort? He’ll be back, count on it.

  36. Espo Says:

    I’m for tagging him, because we’d only overpay him one year and we have plenty of cap space right now. We’d just have to revisit this next year.

    I just don’t want Licht to overpay him on a long contract that will get us into cap trouble later when we need to resign more important players. We have budding stars on this team that will cost big time in 4-5 years. I expect us to have more after the draft. Whatever dollar amount he finds is appropriate, stick to it. If not, find a replacement who isn’t Charles Sims because I don’t think he is a 3 down back.

  37. Buc1987 Says:

    Good point Realist. If Kotter plans on going all Air Coryell this season. The need for a Doug Martin just might go out the window.

    That could be another why I’m in the franchise tag club.

  38. The Buc Realist Says:

    Here is a question, What if Bucs sign DM22 to a 3 year with 4th year option at 8.5 million, only to have DM22 move to the backup RB roll half way thru the season Because JW3 and the 4 vert offense is just Airing it out!! Who will be mad then???

  39. Bob in Valrico Says:

    @ Bonzai
    don’t know if assumption about Martin being out of shape is correct.Players sometimes experiment with gaining more muscle to see if makes them stronger.To be fair Lovie put him ,McKown and Glennon behind one of the worst lines ever two years ago.And you can’t convince me he is lazy.His running style ,yards after contact is not the hall mark of a lazy back.While
    its true its a contract year I think it was more a matter of pride.Doug was healthy and he wanted to prove his worth.
    Now I am also interested in seeing more of how Koetter will utilize
    the receiving skills Sims out of backfield. He could have been of more use
    when VJAX went down.

  40. Bob in Valrico Says:

    @ realist
    Koetter has made point of saying he wants doug back.But I think there also could be a larger role for Sims in a more vertical offense,due to good hands and receiving skills.
    So there might be a little less of a need for a bell cow back.But they are both a formidable combination together and it will be interesting to see what plans he has for them.

  41. salish_seamonster Says:

    It’s not that you can’t overpay, it’s just better to avoid it if possible. V-Jax is a bad example, as he’s been worth every penny, except this past year due to injury. The worst situation is overpaying with guarantees, cutting a guy, and ending up with a sh*tload of dead cap space, because you overpaid. See Michael Johnson.

  42. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    @Bob in Valrico

    You are judging him by this year. Previous years tell a different story.

  43. LifeOfABucFan Says:

    Ive been watching the nfl network all weekend long..heck even now…seeing all these games for the 2015 season..watched all these great teams..and of course I haven’t seen a replay of a single Bucs game…I am just so tired of not seeing a winning season..

    We have the lose Martin would be a blow to the many other FA’s will ever want to sign for the Bucs? They will just remember how their top RB didn’t get the money he deserved!! SMH in disbelief..

    I don’t EVER want to go back to the times when I was picking up free tickets for the games at Winn Dixie, right next to the checkbook holder…

    My gawd! Why wouldn’t we resign him LIKE NOW!!!

    Slap the franchise tag and if he produces, then PAY THE MAN!

  44. LifeOfABucFan Says:

    I will continue the chain smoke UNTIL I read the contract has been done..he is staying a Buc and we will not return number 22 jersey back to the store..

    Joe, you are disgusted!!?? I am too!! and I have the ashtrays to prove it!

  45. The Buc Realist Says:

    Some of you guys need to settle down!! The Bucs are in the driver seat on this one!! ( usually cannot say that!) If they want DM22 they can resign him easily! and if they do not resign him, it will be because they did not want to!! and they will not walk away empty handed as they should get a 3rd rounder (compensatory pick)!!!!

    Don’t stand in the smoke, just take 2 steps out of it and then you can see clearly!!!

  46. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Not really he had two very good years and two injury plagued years.when he is healthy,he does a really good job of running between the tackles.The trends I see are every team needs two good backs that complement each other with different skill sets.Having a bell cow back is just another way to shorten an
    already short career in the NFL AKA marshon Lynch. he has proven potential
    unlike a lot of recent free agents signings.

  47. Pickgrin Says:

    4 years – $25M ($12M guaranteed – $5M 2016 salary and $2M of 2017 salary + a $5M signing bonus) is fair for both sides. If Martin had produced well all 4 years he was here – then yes – his fair market value would be in the $7-$9M range per year. But Martin only produced 2 of his 4 years here. That has to and WILL be accounted for (by any of the 32 teams).

    Doug Martin’s current Fair Market value on a multi year deal is in the $5-$6M per year range. (Just like Dummynic said) That is exactly what he will find out if he overplays his hand and demands $8-$9M+ per year and Licht is smart enough to let him test free agency.

    We could buy 2 or 3 high end free agent running backs for 1 year at the $11.8M Franchise tag cost and I bet you at least 1 of them would be as efficient as Doug was last year in Koetters scheme and behind the current (and hopefully improved) Oline.

    Martin is a very good NFL RUNNING back who was great last year (in a contract year). If he wants to be considered elite (and get paid like it) then he needs to improve his catching and pass protection skills a bit and also show more CONSISTENT production. (example 3 years in a row of 1000+ yards)

    I pretty sure all this speculation is a moot point. A deal will almost certainly be reached prior to the start of free agency because I don’t think Doug wants to leave and I know the Bucs want to keep him.

    But Franchise tagging him for almost $12M is a BAD idea – that much I know. Doug either agrees to a reasonable and fair 3-4 year contract offer (which I’m sure the Bucs will make) – or he finds out on the open market that his value is nowhere near $10M per year.

  48. Bob in Valrico Says:

    now while Doug is a good fit for this team no back is worth 42 million except Adrian Peterson possibly. Realist is right on this,injuries can end a season at anytime.Now if I am Jason Licht I am going to reward Doug for his good season in the signing bonus money but get a cap friendly contract going forward.