If Doug Martin Walks

March 2nd, 2016
Could Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman replace Doug Martin?

Could Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman replace Doug Martin?

So, Bucs fans must be responsible and brace for the worst.

With no tag on running back Doug Martin, there is a real possibility he won’t be wearing a Bucs uniform next week.

If that happens, it is time to move on. But to whom? That’s why Joe is here, to look at who that could be.

Sure, the Bucs could turn to Charles Sims, but can he carry the ball 20-plus times for a full 16-game season? Joe’s not banking on it.

Joe can assure you it won’t be another Great Lumpkin, that’s for sure. So let’s see what running backs may be available, shall we?

Lamar Miller

This guy intrigues Joe. He’s only 24, so investing in him would be more long-term than others, in theory. He had eight touchdowns last year and caught the ball 47 times. He has rushed for 1,000 yards in the past. This proves he’s versatile, which is a good thing.

Chris Ivory

Same age as Martin but with less tread left on the tires, so he would be a short-term fix. Comes from a Jets team in the playoff hunt until his quarterback, Ryan Fitzpatrick, pulled a Ryan Fitzpatrick and puked all over himself in the final game of the season. Like Martin, he can take a beating. Caution: Bill Belicheat wants him.

Ronnie Hillman

Like Miller, Hillman is only 24. He ran for 4.2 yards a carry for the Broncos and had over 800 yards. He also had 24 receptions for nearly five yards a catch.

After that, the pickings are slim unless the Bucs want to go older and maybe more expensive (Matt Forte), which doesn’t seem logical, or hope a couple of has-beens somehow find the fountain of youth, like Chris Johnson or Alfred Morris.

57 Responses to “If Doug Martin Walks”

  1. flmike Says:

    I believe Lamar Miller is the prize in this seasons RB FA, he’s be woefully under used in Miami, and the ‘Phins are in such disarray that anyone with half a brain is looking to get out of Miami as fast as possibly so I don’t see him resigning there. With Miller you get a guy who is younger, bigger, faster and stronger than Martin, who has literally one full season’s worth of milage on the tires, he’s got the potential to be a super star behind a very good line. This is the guy Licht needs to go get.

  2. CrustyCrab Says:

    Ronnie Hillman is a product of the Kubiak running scheme most running backs that move on to other teams sometimes find it difficult. The rest of the running backs don’t really make you want to get up and dance. The Bucs need to find a way to keep Doug or give Mike James a chance to prove that the Seattle game was not a fluke.

  3. jvato24 Says:

    Ronnie Hillman runs like a wet kitty cat, he couldn’t even average 1 yard per carry in playoffs, could not even break a finger tackle. My wife is a crazy Broncos fan and even used the kitty cat word on him, it was great.

    Hell to the F NO

  4. jvato24 Says:

    I hope we bring back Blount

  5. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Assuming nothing has changed overnight…and this is the time things can change almost hourly, here is what I would do:

    Sign WR Jermaine Kearse $4-5m/Yr
    Sign WR Marvin Jones $6-7m/yr
    Sign DE Jason Pierre-Paul $9-10m/Yr
    Sign RT Mitchell Schwartz $7-8m/Yr
    Sign LG Richie Incognito $6-8m/Yr

    Sign RB Doug Martin to for $5-7m/Yr (or don’t), OR
    Sign RB Matt Forte for $6m/1 Yr (then draft RB next year)

    Cut Mankins, Save $7.5m, putting us at roughly $66m cap space

    Brings us to down to $20m+ cap space left.

    Of course, more money will be freed up with other cuts. And this list will update as FA gets closer.

    Matt Forte is only a one year fix if Doug leaves…but next year’s draft is supposed to be really deep with good running backs, so we can draft one then. Forte is going to take a one year deal…or a two year deal that allows the team to cut him next season without penalty.

    This leaves us plenty left over for the draft and any other business that arises, and we’ll have fixed most of our needs.

    It would give us a lot more leisure in the draft too. Get another DE with promise in the 3rd round. Get an OT (for you Luv) in first round. A CB in 2nd round. BPA after that.

  6. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    CrustyCrab Says
    “Ronnie Hillman is a product of the Kubiak running scheme most running backs that move on to other teams sometimes find it difficult. The rest of the running backs don’t really make you want to get up and dance.”

    To be fair, the same was said about Blount, who went elsewhere and did much better than he did here.

    In fact, out of all the players run out of town that did well elsewhere, he and Bennett are my biggest regret. Unlike many here though…I don’t whine about those things all the time.

  7. godzilla13 Says:

    Here is my problem. If I were GM I would understand how valuable Doug Martin is and figure out a way to manage the cost to insure he remains a Buccaneer. Next I would release Bruce Carter $4.5M, $George Johnson $2M, Brandon Myers $3M and Evan Smith $3.5M. There you go. That makes $13M, more than enough to pay for Martins franchise one year salary. What’s wrong with this picture?

  8. Bradinator Says:

    No to Hillman. I live in Denver and he is just a change of pace guy, 3rd down back. We have one of those already that is better than Hillman. I kinda like Ivory, he’ll be a bit cheaper than Miller and he runs tough. There’s something off about Miller I just can’t put my finger on. I hate to see Dougie go somewhere else, but RBs have such a short shelf life that giving them big contracts is usually a GM killer, so GMs are reluctant to hand those out. I really like Forte, but age is going to catch up to him soon. Honestly he is still more versatile than anyone on the list, but will want big money.

  9. Supersam Says:

    I’ve probably mentioned this atleast 3 times, Jaquizz Rodgers is a free agent and had some great years under Keotter in Atlanta, drafted my Mike Smith he’s built a lot like Jones-Drew and can catch the ball really well, I would almost bet my next paycheck he will be a buc next week.

  10. DallasBuc Says:

    Licht is a fool. His track record in free agency is abhorrent.
    Incompetence has a new name.

  11. Rrsrq Says:

    Martin is truly the unknown of the offseason. I don’t think the Bucs can mess up the draft whether they go DE, CB or OT as long as it’s the best available, but if they do not go DE in round one, they better hit a home run in Free Agency. If we don’t sign Dougie, bring me the University of Miami trio – Olivier Vernon, Lamar Miller and Travis Benjamin (they were just under coached at the U). Yeah, I’m a U fan. Those three, a solid draft and good health, Bucs are a playoff team, no doubt.

  12. Chyno1 Says:

    I like Lamar Miller and I think he could be a solid starting RB in the league. He was severely underutilized during his time in Miami especially this past season. He has that game breaker speed and is an effective receiver out the backfield, a very well rounded back. I think of you get him on a team that’ll actually stick with the run game he can be highly effective. He’s younger than Doug so he should have a lot more left in the tank and giving him a long term deal would be a lot smarter and I think he’ll command $1-2 million a year less than Martin. Even though I prefer a bigger and powerful back to pair with Sims I think Lamar could do some things in our offense.

    A guy that I definitely like and prefer over Miller is Chris Ivory. He’s a bigger back and runs with a lot of power, definitely a run finisher. He finally got his chance as the lead back this past year and definitely took advantage. He does have an injury history so that could be a raise for concern and he did fade a bit towards the end of this past season. But he’ll definitely be a lot cheaper than Martin and could possibly be just as productive in our offense.

    I would take a pass on Ronnie Hillman, a HUGE pass on Hillman. He showed flashes during this past year but couldn’t hold off CJ Anderson who eventually took the job back. Not only that Hillman was completely AWFUL during the playoffs! Downright disgustingly awful and Anderson shined. So I’m all set with Hillman.

    One back in the draft that no one is talking about and that’s completely underrated is Alex Collins from Arkansas. Boy is a powerhouse and has good burst. He was highly productive at Arkansas. I definitely love him and I would be thrilled to see him in a Bucs uniform. Licht should definitely look into drafting him somewhere in the third round.

  13. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    One of the problems will be timing……if we are waiting to match a Martin deal we could lose a couple of opportunities on other RBs and end up getting slim pickins…..

  14. stulaake Says:

    Ezekiel Elliott…

  15. dreambig Says:

    It seems clear Martin is the best of the class. Seems like a big mistake to let him escape.

  16. Bucco Brice Says:

    And losing Martin just creates another hole on a team with many…Short term deal would be ideal if Martin agrees….Elliott is the pick if he goes elsewhere…

  17. Waterboy Says:


    Jacquizz Rodgers isn’t a between the tackles type of RB that they need to replace Martin, he’s a lot like what we already have in Sims. I agree with Joe I’m intrigued by Lamar Miller he came out in the same draft as Martin but had significantly less carries. I need to look at more game tape on him to see his running style. If he can handle short yardage situations and between the tackles runs he could be an upgrade over Martin. I like Martin but he just doesn’t have the open field speed that I like to see and he also isn’t a pure power back like a Marshawn Lynch.

  18. Jjuice32 Says:

    Martin is gone, no doubt about it. Losing the most fumbles of any RB last yr. seals that fate. Licht and the Pats way do not take kindly to RB’s that cough up the ball.

  19. Espo Says:

    @ Bonzai

    Damn how you gonna cut the guy might be retiring? I mean, if he’s even on the roster to be cut it’ll be because he’s still playing.

  20. Lion Says:

    I don’t get how they threw so much wasted money on guys like Johnson, Collins, Carter, EDS, and others but they aren’t willing to pay a guy that actually produced within in the top two at his position in the league.

    How much sense does that make? If you ask me, that looks bad on the front office. I understand if Martin is asking too much, fine. Slap the transition tag on him for about $9 mill, and then draft one of the highly touted RB that are suppose to come out next year. This whole thing doesn’t make sense.

  21. Grayson Says:

    They should trade this year’s first round pick for one next year so they can draft Dalvin Cook by trading their 2 first round picks next year to move up and get him!

  22. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    Y’all sleep,Licht about to draft the kid from Cal Daniel Lasco. His size, speed and versatility will make him a perfect fit. Watch.

  23. Grayson Says:

    Draft Fred Taylor’s boy or Washington from Texas Tech in the late rounds!

  24. BigHogHaynes Says:

    To THE BACK-STABBER: If DOUGI gets away, there is no LOVIE to blame , you are the GM WHISPERER around these parts, let DOUGI get away and this team will fail this season because no other running back being talked about can hold DOUGI’S jock-strap!!

  25. Blake_BucsFan Says:

    I have this funny feeling, that if Martin walks, Licht is gonna target Ezekial Elliot or Derrick Henry. And as much as I know that we desperately need help in the secondary and on the edge, I would have zero problems drafting one of two absolute freaks. Henry especially, Homeboy is 247 and ran a 4.54, jumped out of the gym, and looks eerily similar to Steven Jackson. I want Hargreaves or Spence as much as the next guy, but if they arent there I would be stoked if we picked up Elliot or Henry.

  26. Bucsfanman Says:

    Are you guys watching any Dolphin games?! Lamar Miller gets tackled by a stiff breeze! Sure, he can run like the wind with a hole the size of a tank, but who can’t?! Miller has ZERO vision and doesn’t break tackles. We have a guy who breaks tackles and it isn’t even close.
    If the theory is based on age, sure, Lamar is younger as is Hillman.
    What is Hillman known for? It’s a F-u-m-b-le!!! Yeah, that’s what we need!
    Ivory is a tough runner and would be the best of the bunch. Again, as you mentioned, why let Martin go to sign Ivory?

  27. DallasBuc Says:

    All Licht has accomplished so far is the worst free agency track record for a GM in NFL history and that trend countinues as we are forced to watch him actively downgrade the RB position in Tampa.
    Let’s get a real GM that can competently evaluate talent in the draft AND free agency.
    And people wonder why this team is endlessly circling the drain…

  28. Defense Rules Says:

    I’m still confident that the Bucs will re-sign Doug Martin for a reasonable price. However, I don’t understand why folks would want to grab an RB like Miller, Ivory or Hillman if Martin doesn’t re-sign when a potentially excellent RB could be had in the 3rd or 4th round of the draft this year for rookie pay.

  29. Bradinator Says:

    @Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. I liked what I saw from Lasco as well. Very under the radar RB that can do a lot of things. I heard he was a little shaky in blitz pick-up though.

  30. Bucsfanman Says:

    @Dallas- I’m glad someone said it. We’re putting a lot of faith in a guy who was around/responsible for 2 years of bad choices.
    I’m just saying!
    He hasn’t proven anything regarding F/A talent, that’s a fact.

  31. Mike Johnson Says:

    And you guys question why I am so down on my Bucs? Its Cheaponess like this. Rumor has it the Giants will give Martin 7 mil a yr. Why can’t we? I’m tellin all of yas, Our offense which was on the right track will suffer. Charles Sims is not even close to martin. Don’t even tell me this. And its rumored Forte want no part of the Bucs. You think Jameis is throwin a lot now? Just wait and see the forced balls trying to make 1st downs. Now watch us pick up some average back and pay him. And you guys thought we were close to contention? Forgetaboutit. Welcome aboard to loserville Mr. Koetter. Your new Atlanta Bucaneers are now the..Tampa Bay CHEAPONEERS!! Somewhere sitting in a recliner are a few ex Buc coaches laughing and knockin down cold ones. I hope Martin lights up the league next season. Serves us right!!

  32. DallasBuc Says:

    Mike Johnson- unfortunately I cannot disagree with a thing you just said.
    Incompetence has a new name. Jason Licht.

  33. flmike Says:

    If someone is willing to overpay for Doug Martin, let them, he’s not a $7-8 million dollar a year back, the Giants are in the position we were in up until last season, they now have to over pay to get FAs, we don’t, especially for a position that has proven to be as disposable as RB. I love Martin, his is one of the very few jerseys I own, but I see no need to pay him more than $6 mil a year on a 3 year fully guaranteed deal, thats $18 mil fully guaranteed, but then again I’m not his agent or Licht.

  34. LifeOfABucFan Says:

    I just read elsewhere that Martin and his agent are looking for 8 million a year contract..and that he will get it from another team..

    I’m over the shock, but not the disappointment..

  35. Mike Johnson Says:

    Free agency is a mother guys. You gotta look at the market. You gotta look at what the top 3 or 4 running backs are making. Martin did have the 2nd most yrds. Now, is he worth 7 or 8 mil a yr? Maybe not. But if I were the Bucs I would pay him. he is part of the glue that holds this offense together. Jameis had a good year. He needs that compliment like Martin bigtime. Your stomach’s gonna turn sour when we see Martin runnin all over the place terrorizing opponents next season under the banner of the Giants or whomever. We,,yes we..the Bucs habe a notorious history of being Cheapo’s when when don’t need to be. Yet, we overpay mediocrity. So much for your playoffs with the new golden boy Koetter. PAY THE MAN..you cheapsters!

  36. ShutTheBucUp Says:

    Just another day in the life. SMH. Let your best players get away because you wont pay them, turn around and overpay for garbage.

  37. LifeOfABucFan Says:

    Again..and again…I agree with you Mike..8 million is what Doug and agent are asking for?? Pay the man Bucs!!

  38. Bob in Valrico Says:

    you don’t pay 8 million for a running back
    that has to set up 8 yards and read defense and needs a top quality O- line like Murray
    AS much as I like martin ,I can see Licht not wanting to repeat the same mistake.
    why? Martin is not a three down back,may have lost a step,and had injuries slowing him down.Sims is faster and is a better receiver out of backfield and downfield.Nobody knows how the offense will evolve with Koetter in charge.This may also factor in the teams value placed on him.
    to me around 6 mil sounds fair.

  39. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Espo Says
    “@ Bonzai

    Damn how you gonna cut the guy might be retiring? ”

    It’s simple. If he doesn’t notify the Bucs soon, as in days, then they have no choice but to address the position. If they wait, and then he retires, they are screwed. Best to move on. He wants to retire anyway.

    Richie Incognito is younger. He made the pro bowl as well. He’s big and tough.

    Holding onto Mankins is a mistake if you can get Richie Incognito…who will play for 3-5 more years.

  40. JWBUCS Says:

    I suggest you guys stop stressing over decisions at One Buc Palace… First of all, Lovie had autonomy over the roster and Jason Licht served at the pleasure of Head Coach Smith’s behest…. Poor FA choices such as Johnson, Collins and George Johnson are all on Lovie… This in no way establishes a track record of bad management or Free Agent judgement on Licht…

    I totally support not placing the Franchise Tag on Martin… Allowing Martin to test the FA market is not saying goodbye or anything akin to the Michael Bennett fiasco… If NY Giants has supposedly indicated a 7 million dollar pay day, Jason Licht will get Martin for 7 million and with New York State Income Tax alone will make staying in Tampa, far more expedient considering Doug will not have to pack and move, plus the Tax savings… I have confidence we have a very savvy GM who wants Doug Martin for Jameis, and Coach Koetter.

    In closing, we want a four year minimum contract on Martin #22, which would include signing bonus, incentives and guarantee money that could easily top out around 30 million… You cannot arrive at a realistic number without Martin and his agent learning that the market is not offering 10 or 11 million dollars a year. If Doug Martin provides an honest first right of refusal to the team that drafted him and patiently waited through 2 poor injury laden seasons, our number 22 will be right here in training camp working out with his team mates and building a contender NFL team.

  41. Marvelous58 Says:

    I do not understand the cheapness of the Bucs on Doug Martin. Pay him the 8 Mil, he has earned it. Jameis Winston success in year 1 was made possible with Doug Martin and now we’re unable to pay 8 mil a year. Go ahead take Lamar Miller and this offense will decline. Jason Licht is horrible as a GM. The Bucs love to spend money on underachievers in free agency so this doesn’t surprise me at all.

  42. BucLady Says:

    Bring back Martin!

  43. flmike Says:

    JWBUCS – Actually it would be NJ income tax which is slightly higher than NY income tax.

  44. Mike Johnson Says:

    You hit the nail dead on its head with Incognito there BucBonzai. How come our Bucs Mngt cannot see this?

  45. Mike Johnson Says:

    JWBUCS..Lovie had autonomy over the roster? PLEASE!! Some autonomy. You draft roughly 13 players in 2yrs and only say..2 of them are Defensive?
    Yep..Lovie did that. What a croc.

  46. Marvelous58 Says:

    Memo to Jason Licht – I’ll help you out on how our draft should go

    Rd 1 – Deforest Buckner, DE, Oregon
    Rd 2 – William Jackson III, CB, Houston
    Rd 3 – Chris Jones, DT, Miss ST.
    Rd 4 – Christian Westerman, OG, Arizona ST
    Rd 5 – Pearce Slater, OT, San Diego ST
    RD 6 – BPA
    RD 6 – BPA

  47. Bucsfanman Says:

    I know that this is just perpetuating a dead story but, these type of statements intrigue me when they come from fellow posters:

    “First of all, Lovie had autonomy over the roster and Jason Licht served at the pleasure of Head Coach Smith’s behest…. Poor FA choices such as Johnson, Collins and George Johnson are all on Lovie…”

    My question is, how do YOU know? I’m not saying anything one way or the other but we still have some holdovers (Licht) from the same regime that brought us the “Ghost” Johnson and others.
    I get the optimism. It has yet to be proven though.

  48. Dom Says:

    This wouldn’t be a bad signing imo. Although 10 mil a year is a little much for him, I’d say around 8 but we do have the cap room to give him 10 & everyone knows we need the help at CB. Then select Noah Spence with that first round pick & a CB or S in 2nd

  49. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Lovie had authority over the roster .It is Written in his contract.Lovie was in his basement for a year before he came here. Jason licht was not..Lovie targeted players he wanted to replace on 2013 roster through his basement research.IT is pretty easy to draw conclusions that the players that came from Chicago Mccown,Conte,Wright,Melton were Lovie picks.You have to give him credit for Mike Jenkins because he wanted desperately to replace jonathan Banks.
    Sterling Moore,Tim Jennings were all brought in because they fit lovie’s system.
    Maybe they share responsibility for the Two Johnsons but Lovie could have said No WAY.
    The same for Anthony Collins.
    Jason Licht was to build the team through the draft ,the last two years.It was written in his contract and he had pretty good success.

  50. Trubucfan22 Says:

    So we dont want to pay for pur own really good rb. But we will go out and pay for a back up running back that would still be a back up on the bucs?

    That is stupid to even suggest.

    If we replace martin, we replace him with a 5th round rookie. Not a career back up. It doesnt make any sense to pay hillman 3-4 mil but wont pay Martin 4-6.

  51. Trubucfan22 Says:

    I really dont get it…. We overpay for the Johnsons’s and Anthony Collins, and Eric Wright, re signed micheal Clayton to a new contract. But we can’t pay the 1 guy worthy of a new contract? Instead we give out money to low lifes like it is welfare.

    Oh you want money? Do you suck at your job? We got you covered! Just sign on the dotted line!

    Oh wait sorry Mr. Martin, you were too successful last year, you do not qualify.

  52. Bob in Valrico Says:

    no need to address the position with any free agent.We have been grooming kevin pampille for the last couple of years I amsure he will not cause the problems that Incognito could cause. and if mankins comes back he is leader
    incognito is not.

  53. Rich Says:

    Call this crazy but Ray Rice would be an option – it’s a hard take but might be a big bonus for the Bucs. (I do not condone what he did!!!) just thinking football and money!
    I think Martin made Winston better than “good” this year and helped the offense more than the Bucs want to give credit. It is going to be a huge hit to the offense without him, but if it wasn’t a contract year would he be this good?
    Probably not. Look at the last 2 seasons before this one. With Rice you get a guy that has something to prove just like Martin and you get him for pennies on the dollar. Yes crazy, but worth a thought!

  54. OJ Says:

    I love Doug. But my problem with that is paying him so much when after 2 full seasons of injury, you have one season of greatness (not including rookie year), and demanding big bucks?! Negative… We haven’t had a great back in Tampa since Dunn left.. Cadillac Williams, BUST! Pittman, BUST! Throw this man money and he get injured, then what?! If any back I’d take a risk on it would be Forte or Foster.. Like somebody said above, we get them cheap this year, and plan to draft next year! God forbid we have a sucky season, we could trade up for Fournette.. Our team on its way back to the Brooks era, just gotta make smart moves and execute.

  55. Joe Says:

    I love Doug. But my problem with that is paying him so much when after 2 full seasons of injury,

    That’s fair. That’s why a tag is so good. It’s another prove-it contract. If it doesn’t work out, it’s just one year.

  56. danforrest Says:

    Here we go again letting good talent walk, Spend the money asshole, do you want Bellicheat have him. Keep Martin!

  57. DavidbigBucsFan Says:

    The statements up here are amazing. How can you throw out Martins rookie season like it doesn’t count? When I watched it all come together for him against the Vikings who had a good rush defense. I saw him go through Ray Allen at the goal line. I watched him make mince meat of the Raiders who had a good rush defense. How do you discount 2 1400 yard years sandwhich around 2 injury plagued seasons. He still averaged 3.5 yards a carry during those 2 seasons. Someone up here constantly whined how he would lower his head and run straight into the line which I always said is a prime evidence he didn’t trust his knee/ankle. The last game of the year of 2014 was a shadowing of what he was going to do in 2015. People cry he’s slow or he’s not this or that he didn’t score enough. Wake up if people would hold their blocks longer they wouldn’t be able to catch him. Dougie was the most explosive runner last year and should have had that rushing title if Ali Marpet hadn’t been injured. Look what Dougie did against Carolina the first game or Filthy. How is it he led the league in yards after contact? Though the line was much better last year everybody knew they stil over achieved. Dougie did a lot on his own with guys having free shots on him. Like DallasBuc said if Licht lets him walk incompetence on the same level as Lovie. His free agency record sucks the air out of the stadium and people want him to replace Martin with substandard free agents? Pay the man 4 yrs 28 mil 4 mil signing bonus. He’s earned a good payday.