Koetter Explains “Complicated” Call On Martin

March 29th, 2017

Doug Martin really isn’t in the Bucs’ plans.

That was Joe’s takeaway from Dirk Koetter’s extensive explanation about Martin’s status this morning at the NFL Owners Meetings in Phoenix.

For you can’t-get-enough-Bucs freaks out there, Joe typed up Koetter’s comments verbatim.

Put Martin’s drug issues aside for a moment, Martin’s three-game suspension to start the 2017 season is what’s really got Koetter looking elsewhere.

“That’s a little bit of a complicated situation still because Doug is still looking at a three-game suspension when he comes back,” Koetter said.

“You know, with talked with Doug a few weeks back when he came back to Tampa. He looked good, he sounded good. If you recall, at the end of the season, my comment on that was by far the most important thing was Doug regaining his health and that’s an ongoing process. Doug will be coming back soon with the off-season program, hopefully with the offseason and for sure at minicamp.

“The way it’s structured right now, you know, we’ve got the offseason coming up. We’ve got the draft coming up. We’ve got preseason coming up and then when we get to Game 1, that’s when Doug would start his three-game suspension. So right now, we don’t have to make a decision on that. We can let this thing play out. I mean, who knows what’s going to happen? Are we going to add a running back in the draft? Is Doug going to continue down the path of good health, and then we’ve got other guys we like at that position, too. I don’t know what’s going to happen as I sit here today but right now we’ve got time on our side.”

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network then asked Koetter if Martin would be on the Bucs in 2017, assuming he stays “on the good path healthwise?”

“Again, it’s a unique situation,” Koetter said. “I’m a Doug Martin fan. We would love to have Doug on our team. But when the guy who’s been a Pro Bowl running back, you know you’re not going to have him the first three games of the year, how do you do the reps? You know. I mean somebody, it’s kind of a unique in that last year we got so beat up at running back. By week three last year we had already played six running backs.

“And that’s how beat up we were. It’s almost like he would be on [the physically unable to perform list] coming back for Week 4. But we don’t know what we’re going to do weeks one through three yet.

“I’ve never been in this situation before. [General manager] Jason [Licht] and I have talked about it multiple times, and right now it doesn’t make sense to make any bold statements about it until we let this time pass.”

Martin, however, has an opportunity here. If he reports with his teammates on April 17, and then is a hard-working Bucs citizen through spring practices, and he passes a lot of mandated drug tests in between, then he could earn back some trust from the organization.

If it gets to that point, then maybe, just maybe, before training camp the Bucs tell Martin they’ll bring him back for this season under a restructured, prove-it contract.

More likely, Joe believes, Martin will have new team in July.

56 Responses to “Koetter Explains “Complicated” Call On Martin”

  1. big serious Says:

    he did not look good when i saw him a couple weeks ago in Inglewood Ca.

  2. usf commutter Says:

    He will be restructured. per his agent. If not traded

  3. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    “he did not look good when i saw him a couple weeks ago in Inglewood Ca.”


    In what way?

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

    Trust me you do not want to lose the trust of Jameis WINSton on this football team. If you do your days as a member will be numbered. Ain nobody got time for mishaps,Fameis h3ll bent on winning one. Either get on his page or get the f@$! on. One or the other.

  5. Eric Denman Says:

    Hope Dougie is doing well.

  6. big serious Says:

    I saw him at the Serving Spoon Resturant in Iglewood CA. He looked small and weak…patchy skin…smallest person at the table of him and a cple males and females. My girlfriend could not believe that was who we had just saw when we went to the San Diego game. I wanted to ask him to sign my hat but i passed. My girl told me to grab my #22 jersey from the car…i said NAWL.

  7. Picaroon45 Says:

    Looks like some believe in the Buddy Ryan theory of dumping a future Hall of Famer (Chris Carter) just to help the guy out. Meanwhile, the Steelers franchise tag Bell who has just as much off field and injury issues as Martin.

  8. SCBucsFan Says:

    I can’t see anyone giving anything of worth for him to inherit the same problems the Bucs are looking at. Failing to bring in someone like Peterson, which would render him useless, I think he returns even if we draft Cook. Returns, however, on a restructured deal.

  9. Rod Munch Says:

    Big – Well if true then that settles the issue, he’ll be cut and the Bucs will draft someone or sign AD. Hope you’re just BS’ing but I guess we will find out in a couple of weeks.

    But if Martin looks good in the offseason, is clearheaded and in shape and looks like the odd year Martin, then how you handle it is easy – just look at Pittsburgh and how they handled Bell. Martin has proven to be one of the best backs in football when healthy and motivated.

  10. Defense Rules Says:

    I don’t blame Koetter for taking a ‘wait and see’ approach at this early point, but really, is there anyone on the planet who doesn’t expect the Bucs to draft a running back next month? And draft one reasonably high at that, depending on who’s still on the board? And assuming that Rodgers, Sims & Barber are healthy, where exactly would Martin fit in? A 5th RB? Doubtful. I suspect that Martin will be released, or potentially traded, but that the timing depends on when the Bucs have to take action to keep from paying Doug big $$$.

  11. big serious Says:

    Rod Munch….i dont BS with my buccs. I didnt have him sign anything because when i saw him i said to myself he looks bad…he wont be back with the squad. I hope he gets it together and he comes back for less. I am a fan of #22. This was not the first time i have seen him in CA. i saw him driving down the freeway near downtown l.a also. I am sure i will see him again and i hope he looks better. i hope he reads this and comes back strong and when i see him i will tell him its me.

  12. big serious Says:

    i think if he looked as good as they say he did they would not be taking a wait and see approach. they would restructure his deal. I dont think they were to happy with what they saw just like me.

  13. JonBuc Says:

    Time to just move on…I was a big backer of his until the suspension was announced and the truth came to light. He let down a top 5 offense from the previous season…and his 2.9 YPC were a big reason in my opinion. No trade value currently…what’s the point of using him as a draft “smoke screen”…just cut bait and wish him well.

  14. Bucballbaby84 Says:

    Yeah we all know Doug Martin ain’t coming back. They’re just trying to respect the guy. So…… onto other things… goodwill needs to hurry up and reinstate josh Gordon so he can come sign in Tampa and we can make even more headlines! Loving hearing that glazers are doing what they can’t to make Tampa a destination for players. Indoor practice facility will surely help that! Go Bucs!

  15. Wausa Says:

    When he was playing he averaged 2.9 yards per run last year.
    Of course his backup Charles Sims also averaged 2.9 yards per carry.
    He has had two very good seasons in the league but it’s time to move on.

    However, if I am the Bucs I would keep him on the roster as long as possible(assuming he isn’t a distraction) since it does not cost the team any money and it doesn’t cost the team a roster spot.

  16. BigHogHaynes Says:

    Anything can happen by the 3rd game of the season..anything, we may well be 2 backs down, you never know!!i guess we gonna “WAIT ‘TILL THE MIDNITE HOUR”!! Come Back Strong Doug!!

  17. USFBUC Says:

    I think the Bucs are drafting a RB regardless of how Martin looks. The only part of the situation that they are waiting to see on is if Martin will be worth keeping or cutting. If the Bucs think they can get some more miles out of him they will keep him because they have the cap space and he has shown he can be good at times.

  18. Capt.Tim Says:

    Jameis is campaigning for Cook, and training with Peterson.
    That tells you, that Jameis(and the Team) are tired of Martin, and how he selfishly lays down on the team- unless its a contract year!!

    Jameis wants to win, and bust his ass to do so.
    Hes over the selfish, greedy, quitter Doug Martin.
    And so am I, let him go lay down on The Saints

  19. D-Rome Says:

    I don’t care about Doug Martin. Football and winning isn’t as important to Drug Martin as it is to Jameis Winston. I’ll never understand why some of you guys get emotionally attached to players who didn’t consistently produce.

  20. Armando Says:

    expect the Bucs to sign Adrian Peterson

  21. tmaxcon Says:

    Martin is a unreliable bum good ridence. He screwed his teammates therefore screw him.

    He has no trade value. Martin has more bad seasons than good ones and more injuries than touch down screw that loser

  22. Ben the Ga Buc Says:

    Rod Munch Says:
    March 29th, 2017 at 2:49 pm
    Martin has proven to be one of the best backs in football when healthy and motivated.
    He’s making guaranteed millions of dollars and on a team that’s on the rise, playing a game he supposedly loves. Why would someone like this have a problem with motivation at ANY time?

    If a guy isn’t self-motivated at this level, I don’t want him on my team.

  23. Mike Johnson Says:

    Looks like many want Martin gone. The guy screwed up as have others in the NFl. Some are given a 2nd chance with the same team, some are not. I do believe Martin will ball out this yr with some team. But its looking like not with us. many in the Bay area are crying for a running back as our 1st pick. If this happens, Martin is history in a Bucs uniform. Good Luck Dougie!

  24. Fred E. Buc Says:

    They own Martin right now; I don’t think they are ready to part ways. But they’re not committed either. Exactly how it needs to be. I think if they draft a RB, it will be a 3rd rounder, regardless of Martin stay or go. Regardless, I see a RB duo, not a workhorse.
    SCENARIO 1: If they don’t draft a RB, I think they will run Martin and Barber (with Sims in there here and there) a lot in preseason and give Quizz starting team reps only to keep him fresh and then use Quizz as starter in games 1-3. If he has good preseason, they will move Martin in as needed in Game 4 to split reps with Quizz.
    SCENARIO 2: If they do draft a RB, he splits Team 1 and 2 reps with Quizz, and Martin, Barber, Sims use what’s left in preseason and give the new guy and Quizz a chance to gel. If they get to near end of camp and have new guy, Quizz, Barber and Sims all healthy, they may trade Martin before trade deadline. Someone will need a RB by then.
    SCENARIO 3. Bring in AP. Not happening.

  25. DBS Says:

    Ya . We all listen to you tmax. Glennon would never get anything either.

  26. Wausa Says:

    Spot on Capt.Tim!

    Our first and second team backs are injury prone and averaged 2.9 yards per carry and our best back did not even make a roster to start last season.
    We need an elite running back bad and probably two in this draft.

  27. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    big serious Says
    “I saw him at the Serving Spoon Resturant in Iglewood CA. He looked small and weak…patchy skin…smallest person at the table of him and a cple males and females. My girlfriend could not believe that was who we had just saw when we went to the San Diego game. I wanted to ask him to sign my hat but i passed. My girl told me to grab my #22 jersey from the car…i said NAWL.”

    It could have been someone who looked like him. And you say this was for the Chargers game? Then it was during the season right? We already know he was not doing well then. That was pre rehab, right?

    We’ll see I reckon.

  28. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    You know, its entirely possible that hte Bucs could restructure and then trade him for a 5th rounder.

    Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says
    “Trust me you do not want to lose the trust of Jameis WINSton on this football team. If you do your days as a member will be numbered.”

    Jameis seems like the type that believes in second chances, especially since he needed one himself. I believe he is waiting to see how Doub looks when he comes back, just like Koetter and Licht.

    Meanwhile, he’s pushing for AP.

  29. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    BigHogHaynes Says
    “Anything can happen by the 3rd game of the season..anything, we may well be 2 backs down, you never know!”

    100% agree! Especially if the Bucs sign AP. He gets injured often. Although he does produce big when healthy.

    Man…this is going to be a great year regardless…

  30. R.O. Says:

    Can they release DM at anytime without owing him any money? He will not count against the 53 man roster until he returns from suspension, correct? Unless we can trade him for a premium pick then why would we release him until we have to?

  31. Rod Munch Says:

    Ben – I’m not sure there is a motivation issue, I’ve always chalked it up to injuries or last year absolutely awful play calling, but that seems to be the buzz. Regardless now that his contract isn’t guaranteed he has plenty of motivation. If you draft someone there is about a 95% chance they’re not going to be as good as good as Martin has been. In the Bucs history they’ve had exactly one all-pro true RB (Alstott made it multiple times before Gruden decided he’d rather watch Michael Pittman run into the back of his center on every play) and that is Doug Martin. Those who want to see Martin fail – I just don’t get it. Martin had an amazing rookie year, then in year 2 and most of year 3 he was injured, then he had an amazing year 4, then last year he was injured AND suffered from God awful play calling (and Dirk had a great 2015 so I’m not hating on him, but he was awful at feeling the flow of the game last year and got in ruts where he just called the same plays over and over and over). The very few times last year that Martin had openings he was showing great burst, what he wasn’t doing was making guys miss in the backfield and he was seemingly getting hit in the backfield a lot. Martin last year also wasn’t breaking a lot of arm tackles, that to me was more concerning than anything but at some point that’s bad luck. He wasn’t, at least to my eye watching the game, Martin wasn’t missing holes – it happened from time to time but nothing that seemed out of place. So long as Martin is healthy and in shape I think he comes back with a huge chip on his shoulder – or at least I’d hope so, if he doesn’t then sure, at that point cut him. I don’t know if something in his life has completely derailed him the way that it did Freeman, but short of that he should have every chance to come back and take back his job, there is literally no downside I can see to keeping him around through the preseason, even if it’s only to see how he runs in preseason and then to try to flip him for a draft pick if he looks good and someone needs a running back. Then again if he looks good then why would you trade, that would make no sense. I’ve said it before but to me the biggest worry in this whole thing is that the Bucs cut him, he signs with the Panthers and rushes for 1300 yards in 13 games, is a pro bowler and leads them to a 12-4 record. Again for a team that has had players like Ricky Bell, James Wilder, Warrick Dunn – a team that drafted Bo Jackson even – Martin is the only all-pro player in its history at RB, that tells you he is a special talent and no matter who we draft it’s almost certain they won’t ever get that award, and that is the one award that means something (unlike the pro-bowl which means basically nothing at this point).

  32. big serious Says:

    Buccaneer Bonzai

    you must did not read what i said completely. I know who DM is…i did say this was not the first time i have seen him. i have spoken to him before as well. I DID NOT say this was for the chargers game…i said

    “My girlfriend could not believe that was who we had just saw when we went to the San Diego game.”

    This was a cple weeks ago that would have had to be after rehab and after he spoke to DK and JL in Tampa.

    i posted this on another site as well.

  33. Eric Says:

    My impression of the statement is they are going to try and replace him, but if they fail may have to bring him back.

  34. jthv Says:

    One objection to what I read in a comment above … Who drives around Southern California with their #22 Doug Martin jersey in the car? I’m having Big Serious issues believing this one …

  35. big serious Says:

    big Serious’s Avatar big Serious big Serious is offline
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    I am not judging…this is a statement. I saw Doug Martin in the Serving Spoon restaurant this morning and he did not look good. he looked small, weak and bad skin…I wanted to ask him to sign my hat but I passed. my girlfriend could not believe it was him. it don’t look good fellas
    Cali Buccs fan

  36. big serious Says:

    posted that on Prosportsdaily. com on the buccs page on 3/10

  37. cmurda Says:

    If you read between the lines on Koetter’s comments, there is a metaphorical middle finger aimed at D Martin. Koetter in a politically correct way is indicating that Martin is history. The only question I have is who will be our #1 RB. AD? Cook? ( I hope so), McCaffrey, Kamara? Later round pick like Mack?

  38. big serious Says:

    @jthv…..i do…whats wrong with that…dont believe it. i could care less if you do. You probably dont believe he was ever on drugs…lol

  39. Gencoimports Says:

    Half the regulars on this site including the Joes wanted Martin gone in 2013-14 and I’m convinced would want him gone now no matter what he did last year.

    I’m taking a wait and see attitude. If he looks like he did in 2015 OTAs and camp and is drug free and is willing to take a pay cut, then keep him. But even if they cut him today, there is no need to draft a RB in the early rounds.

  40. big serious Says:

    i actually wear my jerseys…lol

  41. Getaclue Says:

    If he was serious he would be working out with Winston and company but instead a RB that’s not even on the team is. Give me an anger Peterson ALL DAY

  42. biff barker Says:

    I could give a rip about what Winston wants. He’s a QB, not the GM, HC or OC.
    It’s pretty much a spun up question to incite more meaningless JW drama.

    Give us what the organization wants. (and I doubt it’s Martin).

    We’re going to draft a RB at some point. My guess it’s a mid rounder.

  43. big serious Says:

    i think we go
    Athlete in round 1 Christian McCaffery
    WR round 2 Chris Godwin
    RB round 3 Kareem Hunt

  44. Buccaneers Says:

    Think they should keep Doug. No way you can cut Martin and put all your faith in a rookie. There is no way they can put all their faith in Doug but he is not a horrible back up if worst comes to worse.

    RB position is the most fragile in the league. Need Martin to clean himself up and need to get more backs in Tampa to plan on moving on without him.

    Tough spot for the team to be in right now.

  45. Kevinthepainterimagine Says:

    He will be a buc once the season starts IF he is in shape.

    If not….cya

  46. Scbucsfan Says:

    Peterson for 1 year > Martin for 3

  47. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I think we can rule out all positions except RB and TE in the draft. I just don’t think now that they will go OL or WR…at least not until the third day.

    Personally, I think they are going safety, defensive end, or running back at this point.

    I’m hoping safety.

  48. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I think we can rule out all offensive positions except RB and TE in the draft

  49. Buccaneers Says:

    Yeah Bonzai, you just named 4 positions there and you case make a case for them drafting a few other positions. It will be very interesting because nobody really knows what their thinking.

    It kinda stinkz when you have so many positions in need of upgrade. on offense we really dont need to have great players at all the skill positions but we desperatly need to get one more playmaker no matter which position. We got just too many stiffs on the current roster.

  50. Dave Says:

    They got Rogers and Simms back and better receivers. I don’t think they’re in that bad of shape with running backs. I do think they draft one in the first four rounds though. I’m just not sure if they go cook in red 1 if available.
    Personally I am not big on drafting a running back in round one. I like the value of drafting a running back’s in rounds three and four. But I will trust whatever they do. All that said, I can’t see Martin back either.

  51. Bucballbaby84 Says:

    I wanna kick Sasha brown right in his face right now! Just killed my hopes and dreams of josh Gordon being in a bucs uniform this season if he’s reinstated. Last year hue Jackson said they were closing the door on josh Gordon in Cleveland and this dude Sasha brown says today says we’re not in position to turn down a guy like josh Gordon if he’s in a good place now. Noooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!

  52. DavidBugBucsfan99 Says:

    For the clowns up here who take what he did so personal and come down on him so hard like he’s such a despicable person I hope one day you mess up and everybody comes down on you just as hard. You act like he set out to hurt the team and let down his teamates. Addiction don’t take but one time to get hooked and he was addicted. The man needs the time to get better.

  53. Trubucfan22 Says:

    In july? The bucs will no doubt take martin into training camp (unless he really dissappoints in OTAs) the bucs have no reason not to keep him available to them incase of an emergency. Say the bucs do draft mccaffrey, and he breaks his ankle the second week of training camp. Then what? Hope some other RB is available at the end of TC? Like i said unless Martin comes back in really rough shape it doesnt make sense to cut him any earlier than the last week of training camp, if they even do cut him at all. If he does well in training camp restructure his contract and let him and the other RBs battle it out for playing time. The bucs can’t lose by holding on to him.

  54. Capt.Tim Says:

    ” he was hurt two years”, “bad Play Calling”, “Terrible O-line”
    Yeah, Right
    That aint Dougie pissing down your backs, Fellas,
    Its rain
    Martin only runs hard, when he profits from it.
    1st year, to get noticed
    Contract year- to sign fat contract
    2 outta 5
    Other than that, he layed down on the team.
    Normally, when a skill player gets suspended, the team rallies around him
    For Martin- Crickets
    Thats because the team is smarter than a few fans.
    They dont want a guy who quits, and is counting his money, While they are sweating and bleeding to win.
    Nothing worse in the locker room than a selfish quitter.

    Not the guy we want talking to Dalvin Cook.

  55. Pickgrin Says:

    I keep seeing people say – “restructure Doug’s contract and keep him” or somesuch.

    It doesn’t work that way. Doug Martin is either cut to void the contract or he gets paid $7M by the Bucs in 2017. No middle ground.

    One thing I can almost guarantee (short of major RB injuries in preseason or the 1st 3 weeks) is that the Bucs will NOT be paying Martin $7M in 2017. He WILL be cut.

    Now that’s not to say that an agreement between Doug and the Bucs can’t me made prior to cutting him and then him quickly re-signing a new deal with the Bucs – presumably for well less than 1/2 his “guaranteed” $7M salary in 2017.

    But my point is – unless we pay DM $7M and put him on the active roster after week 3 of the season – he is going to be cut and will be a free agent. The Bucs would actually be (re)signing Doug Martin as a free agent if he were to come back.

    Do the Bucs want Martin back at a lower salary than the $7M? Maybe

    Would Martin want to come back and play in Tampa Bay after his suspension and then having been cut to void his guaranteed contract? Probably. Especially if the Bucs treat him fairly and have talks with him prior to the cutting so that both sides can come to the proper understanding of the others position and thinking. AND if he feels like his teammates still support him which I don’t think will be a problem.

    But perhaps Doug will want to test the waters of free agency once he becomes available after his suspension. Maybe he won’t like the Bucs offer to bring him back (if one is made) and would try to get a better deal and a “fresh start” with another team at that point? Hell – maybe Blunt goes down in week 3 and Belicheat calls with an offer in the same range or slightly better than the Bucs offer…

    Like coach says – the Doug Martin situation is “complicated”.

  56. Chris Mcgarr Says:

    I say cut him now and move on. I also personally think any grown man wanting to have someone sign something needs to grow the F up…..ya know…your not 10 yrs old anymore. Not trying to be a dick, just sayin.