“That’s Doug Martin Territory”

February 24th, 2017


In two weeks, the Bucs are likely to have an opportunity to add a first-ballot Hall of Famer to a position of need.

Don’t do it.

The Vikings say they haven’t reached a decision about Adrian Peterson, but it’s not difficult to read between the sidelines. If the former league MVP isn’t willing to restructure his contract, he’s gone.

Minnesota isn’t about to trigger an $18 million option on a running back who turns 32 on March 21. It looks like Peterson will be allowed to test the free-agent market, and that’s where the Bucs come into play.

A year ago, the Bucs thought they were set at running back, at least for awhile. Doug Martin was coming off an All-Pro season and Charles Sims accounted for more than 1,000 yards from scrimmage as Martin’s backup.

But Martin injured his hamstring in Week 2 and Sims struggled as the primary back. When Martin returned, he was ineffective and now he is suspended for the first three games of 2017 for violating the NFL’s drug policy.

There’s a good chance Martin has played his last game for the Bucs, who ran the ball poorly in 2016. While there is no doubt running back is a priority position this offseason, Peterson isn’t the answer.

Drivel Time

NFL history tells us that 32-year-old running backs rarely make an impact, especially ones with Peterson’s wear and tear.

Speaking of tears, Peterson suffered a torn meniscus in Week 2 last season and finished the year with 37 carries for 72 yards. That’s yards-per-carry average makes Martin look like Ezekiel Elliott.

Peterson is already trying to reach out to his next employer. He has mentioned the Bucs and Giants as potential landing spots, but that’s just free-agent chatter.

A lot of drivel goes on this time of the year, like Jameis Winston saying he’d welcome DeSean Jackson. What else is the face of the franchise supposed to say?

If Winston had been asked about Randy Moss, he would have said come on down.

And by the way, that report suggesting Winston and Jackson have a “rapport” is simply fake news. Apparently the “rapport” consists of Winston rooting for the Eagles while Jackson was catching passes from Donovan McNabb.

Whether he’s playing for the Bucs, Vikings or Giants in 2017, Peterson wants to be paid for what he has accomplished — and it’s quite a body of work.

Peterson’s average of 95.5 rushing yards per game for his career ranks No. 4 all-time, behind Jim Brown, Barry Sanders and Terrell Davis. Right behind Peterson are Eric Dickerson and Walter Payton.

That’s high cotton.

No Threat

Peterson’s Canton bust is assured, but the Bucs don’t care about what he put on tape during his peak. A.P. new stands for After Prime.

Peterson is only valuable in terms of future performance, and that’s why the Bucs need to pass on him.

He’s never been much of a blocker or a pass-catching threat out of the backfield, so Peterson has to make his mark with the ball in his hands. And in the eight games before that torn meniscus, Peterson averaged 2.9 yards per carry.

That’s Doug Martin territory.

Granted, this free-agent class of running backs doesn’t get Buc fans particularly excited. When Eddie Lacy is one of your headliners, it’s a weak crop.

Still, the Bucs need to avoid the Peterson trap and make a sensible signing like Latavius Murray. And don’t stop there.

This draft is supposed to be deep at running back. You can find value past the first round, and GM Jason Licht thrives on hitting the long ball on Day 2 of the draft.

Peterson would be a sexy signing, but he makes little sense for this franchise.

Move along, people. Nothing to see here.

Ira Kaufman pens columns for JoeBucsFan.com every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and his stunning and entertaining podcasts fire every Tuesday and Thursday. Kaufman is Tampa Bay’s only Pro Football Hall of Fame voter and he will do just about anything for a free, three-course lunch.

18 Responses to ““That’s Doug Martin Territory””

  1. tmaxcon Says:

    No to AP and No to Doug Martin the Offensive Leader of the Losing Culture… Martin was never a winner just a garbage yard back who screwed his teammates could not score. NEXT!

  2. Etzel Says:

    Stay away from AP. Stay away from Cook and Fournette. So much RB depth in this draft. Foreman, Kamara, McCaffrey, Mixon, Mack. Taking one of them in the 2nd/3rd makes a lot more sense.

  3. Miko Says:

    Latavius Murray…YES!

  4. Buc1987 Says:

    I’m a Murray guy too!

  5. tdtb2015 Says:

    “And in the eight games before that torn meniscus, Peterson averaged 2.9 yards per carry.”—— Ouch!

    I was not aware of that. We definitely should pass on AP.

    Re-sign Rodgers, get Patrick DiMarco from Atl. and draft on 2nd or 3rd rounds. I’m with Etzel!

    Go Bucs!!!

  6. bucsfaninchina Says:

    Would love a Latavius Murray signing. The more UCF Knights the better

  7. Defense Rules Says:

    @Ira … “Still, the Bucs need to avoid the Peterson trap and make a sensible signing like Latavius Murray. And don’t stop there.” Sorry Ira, but I see no reason to add ANY of the FA RBs to the Bucs stable of backs. We’ve already got Sims & Barber, and fully expect Rodgers to be re-signed. There are tons of good RBs in this year’s draft. Bucs would be much better off I think focusing on other needs in FA (WR, S, DE/DT, OT, C & maybe TE) then draft an RB with a higher draft pick (Rnds 1-3) and potentially another one with a lower draft pick (Rnds 4-7). Bucs will most likely keep 4 RBs this yr (especially since we’ll only need 2 QBs for a change), and can stash another RB on the Practice Squad.

  8. mike Says:

    Great stuff IRA. If we can’t get Delvin, which we wont… He will be gone by 12 and hopefully not to the panthers then I say draft mixon in the 3rd or 4th. Put me down as a hypocrite, but I don’t care about mixon’s past. Quizz plus Mixon is an all pro backfield and its cheap and you can use your 1st rounder on a D lineman or WR. AP is about done and expensive. Yeah, I love all the Djax would love to go to the bucs. Djax is going to the highest bidder (like most free agents) and if the offers are close the tie breaker would be best team/ best situation.

  9. Stpetebucsfan Says:


    We don’t think you’re a hypocrite. Mixon just doesn’t turn me on. His numbers were huge against the little sisters of the poor…not so huge against better teams.

    Meanwhile Foreman rushed for over 100 yards in 12 straight games breaking the Texas record held by the legendary Earl Campbell.

    If we don’t succeed getting Dalvin I like Foreman…size and blocking ability to protect #3 as well. He’s a young Eddie Lacy!

  10. Buc4life Says:

    You guys crack me up with this no to Adrian Peterson mess. Just last year he lead the league in rushing. People are gonna get enough of underestimating AP. If they finish filling out our offense with weapons through free agency and the draft, Peterson would probably flourish. He’s never played with a passing attack before in all of his years in Minnesota. Licht should bring him in for a workout. If his workout meets their expectations and he passes their physical they should consider the option of signing him to a deal that Licht is comfortable with. If the price is too high don’t sign him. But if he really believes in where our team is headed he might choose to play here instead of somewhere else. I’m sure Licht is gonna at least consider Peterson as a possible option. They should also draft a RB in this draft. Licht should consider drafting Joe Mixon in a later round. The guy is gonna be an elite talent.

  11. Miko Says:

    the limited amount I saw of Joe Williams of Utah was impressive..but he was a guy who quit on football, so he gets a major downgrade on commitment…might be worth a late round pick though, if he lasts that long.

  12. Buc4life Says:

    I say yes to Adrian Peterson if Licht puts him through a workout. If his workout meets their expectation they should consider signing him to a contract that Licht is comfortable with. People are gonna get enough of underestimating AP. He just lead the league in rushing last year. He would probably flourish here with a passing attack. Which is something he never had at Minnesota. I’m sure Licht is gonna at least consider him as a possible option. They should also draft a RB. He should consider Joe Mixon in a later round. The guy is gonna be an elite talent.

  13. D-Rome Says:

    I hope the Bucs don’t sign AP so that in the future we can read on JBF all about how the Bucs missed out on signing a future Hall of Famer.

  14. Mojiska Says:

    Sims, barber, quiz and a rookie.

  15. Pickgrin Says:

    Kareem Hunt from Toledo in the 3rd.

  16. Hig Says:

    Yet another astute article Ira!

  17. unbelievable Says:

    Murray Yes! AP No!

    Right on, Ira.

  18. Fred E. Buc Says:

    Oh Hell no, don’t do it Joe is so right.