Top-10 Cap Room + Doug Martin

March 3rd, 2016

MartinAs Joe mentioned last night on the air with the dean of Tampa Bay sports radio, Steve Duemig of WDAE-AM 620, the Bucs could have locked up Doug Martin with the franchise tag and still would have had more 2016 salary cap room than 20 other NFL teams.

That data comes from and jibes with many other published salary-cap-room charts floating around.

This is why Joe’s head is a little sore from repeated pounding into blunt objects. Man, if the Bucs had slapped the tag on Martin, they still would have had great freedom in free agency and not impacted their cap for next year.

Plus, they would have had the benefit of limiting risk. If Martin isn’t the same player in 2016 that he was in 2015, then you can let him walk or re-sign him for far, far less money.

Why were the Bucs sitting on their checkbook? Joe will never get that answered.

This Martin nightmare can have a happy ending, though, if Jason Licht signs Martin as the free agency dinner bell approaches next week. So Joe really isn’t freaking out too much.

Joe realizes Bucs fans will cheer in unison if Martin soon signs, say, a three-year deal for $20 million with $15 million guaranteed. But that still comes with greater risk to the franchise than one year at $11.8 million.

40 Responses to “Top-10 Cap Room + Doug Martin”

  1. Dylan Says:

    its actually better value with the second contract you named. 3 years for 15 million guaranteed or one year for basically 12? Haha come on fam

    But that $15 million, for example, might be over the first two years only. –Joe

  2. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Right now, fans are saying “Trust in Licht”.

    By next year, they may well be using this against Licht to try to run him out of town.

  3. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    I gotta agree with Dylan on that one, Joe.

    If the money is that close, the contract is a better option.

    Of course, Martin may be wanting much more.

  4. tnew Says:

    You are right Joe. I would cheer if that contract was signed. I’m not counting on that tho.

  5. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    If all the free agent RBs insist on more, they will start getting it. They have to ability to drive up the market price by banding together.

  6. LargoSamIM Says:

    Joe… I think your head is sore from all the times you were dropped on it as a child !

  7. LargoSamIM Says:

    “But that still comes with greater risk to the franchise than one year at $11.8 million.” ….. unless he has another “contract year” season like last year !

  8. Supersam Says:

    You don’t spend 11 million for one year on a hot and cold running back, not happening. Get over it.

  9. Defense Rules Says:

    Still think Licht and the Bucs did the right thing by not using the franchise tag on Martin. If he did have a great 2016, we’d be in this same exact situation next year, but 2016 would have cost us almost $12 mil. Sounds like a fair contract for his services would run somewhere between $15 – $20 mil for 3 years. If someone wants to pay more, then so-be-it. Bucs still have Sims and James, and could easily re-sign Rainey I suspect. And if Martin doesn’t re-sign, I’d still bet that the Bucs will draft a RB in the 3rd or 4th round. Several good ones available this year.

  10. Danthebucfan Says:


    @Joe is there anything we (fans) can do? Can you post a number for us to call?

  11. LargoSamIM Says:

    I mean…don’t get me wrong… the muscle hamster was probably the most exciting show the Bucs had last year…. I just have a few “caution” signs jump at me when I think about any big money deal for Martin….. i mean…c’mon Jo(s)… a great rookie season… a great “contract year” season …and NOTHING in between (looked like he was afraid to hurt himself…. even though in 2014 HE insisted he was healthy)…granted I don’t spend any time around him… but c’mon… its got to raise some red flags… doesn’t it ??

  12. Another J Says:

    We’re gonna regret letting Doug Martin get away.

  13. The Buc Realist Says:

    I don’t get why Joe does not understand the situation!!! Once you tag DM22 and he plays that year then what??? You just set the floor at $11.8 million!! Once you do that The agents starting point for guaranteed mony is $27 million!!!! He is 27 and will be 28 next year, ( which is the new number of decline!!)

    And we do not know for sure how big the running back will fit into the new offense!!! They did not draft JW3 1st overall to hand the ball off!!!!

  14. The Buc Realist Says:


    They need that cap room to resign MG8!!!!!

  15. BucFan20 Says:

    Rebember this is all on Licht. The HC has not been consulted as to any plans.
    And just because your kid screams he wants the newest most expensive car on the market? Does not mean he gets it. Well to a lot of you it does! Spend away!!

  16. BucFan20 Says:


  17. DB55 Says:

    Koetter has a type.

    Jax had MJD

    Atl had Michael Turner

    Tampa will have Doug Martin

  18. flmike Says:

    What you all seem to be missing is, this is the business model put forth by Belicheat and the Hatetriots, which is where Licht learned and what he’s using as a model to build an run the Bucs. Martin at $6 mil is much better than Martin at $8 mil, another one of the Hatetroits mantras is “Better a year to early, than a year to late”

  19. biff barker Says:

    BucFan20 Says:

    Rebember this is all on Licht. The HC has not been consulted as to any plans.

    You don’t really believe that do you?

  20. biff barker Says:

    flmike, exactly. Licht is adhering to a proven process. Good.

    Someone tell the Henny Penny crowd the sky hasn’t fallen.

  21. Jeagan1999 Says:

    Sign Doug to a 4 year, $24million deal with $12 guaranteed, and incentives that could bump it up to $28mil…I.e. $1 million bonus per year for leading the league in rushing.

  22. Bucsfanman Says:

    @ Realist- “They did not draft JW3 1st overall to hand the ball off!!!” Maybe not, but it sure didn’t hurt to have a run game.
    I’m going to take this opportunity to once more proclaim that the rubbish, coined phrase “passing league” is a farce. Anyone who thinks that Jameis has the same “success” without a run game (aka Doug Martin) has their head in the sand. We just watched a SB that was completely dominated by defense and possession. Neither team entering the SB were considered a “passing team” either. Is that a coincidence? Um, nope!
    So, to summarize here, a running game is just as important as a passing game.

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

    Thank you Realist!!! That was the million dolla side note. We don’t know how Koetter will be using the RB going forward. My guess is it will be differently than what we saw this season.

  24. Bucsfanman Says:

    ^^^How will it be different guys? Koetter called the plays last year. Remember?! Same guy, same offense, same running game.

  25. Pick6 Says:

    joe, you made your own point. a year after failing to snag a 1 year option for $5 mil guaranteed, 15 guaranteed over 2 or 3 years is basically $3 million for a 2 year team option when you compare it to the franchise tag. if doug has a good 2016 under the tag, the bucs will be stuck doing a bigger per-year deal for an older RB based on a 2 year track record. if he does poorly under the multi year deal, he is a tolerable cap hit that is 1 year from being purged from your roster

    You guys do a fantastic job of twisting things up and avoiding the realities of a team game on the field and in the locker room. Second, they could keep negotiating with the tag in place, if Martin didn’t sign it. A player in that situation can “test” the market by watching it unfold for other backs.–Joe

  26. BucFan20 Says:

    @ biff.
    Of course not. Did you not figure that out? Surly YOU did not take that serious??

  27. BucFan20 Says:

    Or they could watch the market see it not play out and the team be stuck with the 11.8 million.

  28. BucFan20 Says:

    No fool is going to pay 11.8 million for a RB for one year and even take the change that next year he bolts!

  29. Bucsfanman Says:

    I’m just wondering when all these “ham & eggers” became cap-ologists!!!

  30. America's Commenter Says:

    The 3-year $20M contract with $15M guaranteed is a much better option than one-year at $12M guaranteed. The cap value of each year would be about $7M as opposed to $12M, and even if he washes out completely, it’s still less of a cap charge per season because it would spread across 2 or even 3 seasons if the Bucs cut him after June 1, 2017.

    What happens if Martin has another great year at $12M? He would want the same 3-year $20M contract (or more) next season, meaning it would cost $19M over two seasons and $32M over all four seasons.

    Let’s keep in mind that 4th season would come at age 30, when the bottom typically falls out for running backs, and it would be at a time when the Bucs will hopefully need to break the bank for Winston’s contract extension.

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

    @Bucfanman lovable insisted on pound and ground. Koetter bout to put it in the air heavy dawg.

  32. BigHogHaynes Says:


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

    And Bighog thank God sextet reading some of these post.

  34. Pickgrin Says:

    4 years – $25M – $12M guaranteed – and that includes a $5M signing bonus. I’m on record saying this for weeks now. And I bet the deal Doug winds up signing is damn close to these #s – we’ll see.

  35. Pickgrin Says:

    and Joe is gonna look silly (again) having pounded the “Franchise Him – FRANCHISE HIM for $12MILLION!!!” drum so hard…

  36. kaput Says:

    I’ve said for months and I’ll say again:

    Until this team spends close to the salary cap, I’m not going to purchase a single item that has a Buccaneer logo on, purchase a game ticket or do anything that in anyway supports them.

    This is a pattern that has been established over many, many years. They’re cheap, and this is just another example.

    It is just reality.

    I feel bad for Jameis. He deserves better.

  37. Mike Johnson Says:

    Well said there Kaput. Our Bucs have quite a history of letting players go who come back to..bite them in the rear end. Its why I call them the..The Tampa Bay Cheaponeers. If the Bucs let Martin get away, it will go down as one of the worst mistakes in franchise history. Of course, to go along with the many other plunders in Buc History. You got an outstanding chemistry going on Offense here. A lot of those yards gained were solely Martin. Lets wait and see. But don’t hold your breathe on this one.

  38. godzilla13 Says:

    The real question is how much cap space do we really have right now. $49,427,574 per Spotrac. Minus rookie cap space ($6,000,000) minus Bradley McDougald, Russell Shepard, Jacquies Smith and Chris Conte contracts (8,000,000) $49,427,574 minus $14,000,000 = $35,427,574

    $35,427,574 is closer to the real cap number. Plenty of cash to sign Doug Martin to a multi year contract or franchise him. However most owners like to keep around an $8,000,000 buffer for “just in case” money. So lets say we franchised Martin for $11,500,000? Plus the $8,000,000 buffer = $19,500,000 minus $35,427,574, which would leave our cap spending value at $15,927,574. Which would be just enough to sign Mario or JPP and that’s it. Now I understand why we did not resign or franchise Martin.

  39. Brian Says:

    Their isnt a GM in this league that would have franchised Martin. Glad Joe isnt the Bucs GM.

  40. Brian Says:

    There too