Bucs “Cautious” With Doug Martin

June 16th, 2017

Team crossing fingers.

Joe has to keep telling himself: It was underwear football.

Yes, the Bucs wrapped up minicamp yesterday and are free to frolic on the beaches of the Bahamas with well-enhanced babes and cold cocktails for the next six weeks before training camp begins.

Ah, the life.

And while both players and staff of the Bucs raced to Tampa International Airport to hop flights and begin playtime, that doesn’t mean the suits and shot-callers at One Buc Place are worry-free.

For as NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo explained, Doug Martin is on their minds.

While Martin sure looked quicker during underwear football and seemed to have lost weight while bulking up his upper body, Garafolo, who hung out at One Buc Palace this week talking to those in the know, explains Martin returning to the Bucs is not a guarantee.

In fact, Garafolo chose “cautious” as the keyword the Bucs are using in hoping Martin stays on the straight-and-narrow while suspended three more games and after substance rehab he claims to have attended.

22 Responses to “Bucs “Cautious” With Doug Martin”

  1. Pickgrin Says:

    Martin knows that if he doesn’t stay clean his NFL career is over. That’s some pretty damn strong motivation. He’s getting tested very regularly now per NFL mandate so its not like he can “take chances” or “just do a little” of his preferred substance of abuse.

    Addiction can indeed cause addicts to do very stupid things – and so the “caution” is warranted. I would guess, however, that chances are high Doug will never again test positive for banned substances in whatever time is left in his career. Doug is smart and he knows that even one “slip up” means he would not be able to play in the NFL anymore.

    Unless and until Doug is off this team – we owe it to him and the potential success that everyone hopes he has this year to be supportive, encouraging and expectant of good decision making and good on field play. He’s been doing both all off season so far and will need to continue to “look good” every chance he gets between now and the day he leaves the building for suspension the 1st week in Sept.

    A Doug Martin running like he did in 2015 on this year’s Buccaneer team with all the added receiving weapons would make the Bucs offense damn near unstoppable and with good play calling could have defenses nearly constantly on their heels and guessing

    I believe Doug will get that opportunity – as long as he is willing to have his contract renegotiated.

    Martin owes the Bucs some level of contractual guarantee and protection against the behavior that got him suspended – and a 30-40% reduction in his pay is warranted as well for sub par performance and for putting the team through this ongoing degree of uncertainty surrounding what to do about the RB situation and who will start for the 1st 3 games, etc.

    The Bucs rewarded Martin last offseason with a top notch contract – overpaid in fact – and did so in good faith that the Doug Martin who played himself into that fat contract would maintain his level of play and commitment to excellence.

    Martin broke that good faith and just on principle alone should not be brought back under his current overpriced contract – with only the 3 game deduction while suspended as his financial “penalty” for making $8M last year and running for 400 and whatever yards and putting the team through all this uncertainty about their RB situation…

  2. calibuc Says:


  3. Defense Rules Says:

    Pickgrin, agree with everything you wrote except the notion of punishing Martin financially. Soon as the Bucs attempt to do that, they’ve in essence torn up his current contract and he’s free to negotiate with any other team. No one may want him, but there’s no way for the Bucs to know that until they venture down that path. The old phrase ‘cut off your nose to spite your face’ comes to mind.

  4. darin Says:

    One day at a time with Dougie. You just cant plan ahead in substance abuse cases. Go bucs

  5. RayJameisStadium Says:

    The contract should be renegotiated at the right time. That time is the week he is supposed to come back.

    Martin knows he screwed up and Licht must keep his integrity to the organization. That kind of action by Licht will send a message to those who had such problems in the past. (ie, Noah Spence in college).

    If Martin really has made football his no.1 priority he would want to play for a team who has a shot at the Super Bowl. Signing a Sweezy like contract should be a no brainer for him.

    That’s a win win situation.

  6. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We should all root for Martin’s return…..we should absolutely renegotiate his contract and I’m not sure simply proposing that automatically makes him a free agent.
    If that’s the case so be it. He has voided his contract by his behavior and should be expecting a renegotiation. I hope it all works out because the “good” Doug Martin is really, really good!!!

  7. Easy Denman Says:

    This is his big year since he was horrible last year. He will boost us to the playoffs

  8. fanatischpol Says:

    Hope Martin ends up earning the starting job and runs straight back into pro bowl consideration. That likely would mean he stayed healthy and we are a team competing in the playoffs.

  9. Rrsrq Says:

    “Claims to have attended”, seriously Joe, that’s how we throwing him under the bus now

  10. macabee Says:

    I would do nothing to the Doug Martin contract this year – let me explain. The Doug Martin contract is in force (a legal term of art). The contract has not been voided – by virtue of Doug’s drug suspension, the guaranteed money is just no longer guaranteed which means the contract can be terminated at any time without cause and no further compensation is owed. They should cut him or keep him! If he has a good camp and preseason, they should keep him!

    Doug Martin signed a 5 year, $35,750,000 contract with the Bucs, including $15,000,000 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $7,150,000. In 2017, Martin will earn a base salary of $5,764,706. (from Spotrac).

    NFL players are paid in 16 game checks over the season. If you follow the math, that is $360,294 per game. Because he is suspended, Doug will not receive the first three checks. Following the 3rd game of the season, Doug is literally on a week to week contract for the duration of the term. He will have the sword of Damocles over his head where he must perform to or above expectations or face termination each week. He must come each week incented to make his money and motivated to keep his job – perfect player encouragement and team hedge against further pay for non-performance. If he performs, fine. It‘s what they originally contracted for. If not, he’s gone.

    The Bucs hold all the cards, Doug can go nowhere or do nothing until he is a free agent in 2019 as the contract remains in force with no guarantees. At year’s end, the Bucs will either have a pro bowl player, a tradeable asset to a team who may then want to restructure, or a terminated RB at no cost to them.

    You enter into contract negotiations to restructure you allow his agents to have voice where they have none now. Doug acquires bargaining power where he had none before. They wouldn’t attempt to restructure if they didn’t want him – his agents will know this. If Doug has a good camp and preseason, he’ll have more NFL demand than unproven Jeremy McNichols. Nothing says he has to agree to a pay cut and the Bucs aren’t hurting for cap space. It could be viewed as a punitive move to teammates that support him.

    At year’s end, the Bucs will know what they have in Jeremy McNichols and Peyton Barber going forward or they can set their sights on Saquon Barkley/Penn State, Derrius Guice/LSU, Nick Chubb/UGA, Bo Scarborough/Bama or Royce Freeman/Oregon in the 2018 draft. Not a problem! Go Bucs!

  11. Bob in valrico Says:

    pretty much agree with everything Pickgrin says, with possible exception of
    a renegotiated incentive based contract.
    Agree wholeheartedly with Pickgrin point:
    “Unless and until Doug is off the team-we owe it to him that the potential success that everyone hopes he has this year to be encouraging,supportive
    and expectant of good decision making of good onfield play”.
    Believe all our players deserve this same treatment.Support our players and give them a fair chance to succeed on the field.

  12. The Buc Realist Says:


    your numbers for this year’s salary are already adjusted to the 3 suspended games!!!! So what he is due to make if he plays all 13 games this year is ” $5,764,706″!!!

    overthecap . com has his original contract!!!!

    But you are right, I would not and I do not think they will adjust/renegotiate his contract!!! Keep the carrot in front, play the first 3 games and see what they have on the roster!!!!! For the Bucs to win big they are going to “let it ride”!!!!!!!! and if someone look good, then drug martin will be cut before week 4 game!!!!!

    Go Bucs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. RayJameisStadium Says:

    A renegotiation will show integrity and commitment to the organization by Licht and Martin.

    If Martin is truly a changed man, he would want to show commitment and respect to his team. Players included. Martin hired his agent and Martin can fire him too. Welcome to adulthood.

    Speak softly and carry a your stick!!!!!!

    Martin be a Stick Carrier!!!!!

  14. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    I think D.R. makes a great point…otherwise I agree totally with Pickgrin.

    But we can’t just assume we’re going to be able to recoup any of Doug’s salary because he messed up. Once the Bucs void his current contract he’s free to negotiate with ANY team.

    But I do not believe the Bucs feel the need to “punish” Doug for his mistake. It’s just business and if four games into this season the Bucs have a need at RB the prorated portion of his 5.5. million will not be a deal breaker. Given our current cap position and considering we’re only talking this year and not too far in the future….I’m not a member of the “Doug Martin Mob” But I certainly concede that if Doug is healthy and ready to roll….5 million is not too much for an insurance policy.

    Hopefully McNIchols and Quizz render the Doug Martin debates mooot.

  15. Fsuking Says:

    Did Joe really openly question if Doug Martin went to rehab? Is Joe trying to become the Alex Jones of Bucs reporting?

  16. Buccfan37 Says:

    Let’s go Doug! Improved his conditioning, a force to cheer for.

  17. Pickgrin Says:

    Macabee – its not a “week to week” scenario if the Bucs bring Martin back under his current contract. As a veteran, Doug would get the entirety of this year’s pay (5.7M prorated) if he is on the roster for even 1 day after the season has started.

    Renegotiating a new deal prior to bringing him back – one that protects the Bucs from having to pay Martin if he “relapses” is not punitive. Neither is asking him to play for less than the top level of pay for a RB that the current contract represents. It is the proper business move and what’s best for the franchise.

    RayJameis stated it quite well –
    “A renegotiation will show integrity and commitment to the organization by Licht and Martin. If Martin is truly a changed man, he would want to show commitment and respect to his team.”

    IMO – as long as Jason Licht treats Doug fairly and is honest and up front about the organization’s position in this regard – then its on Doug to understand that he has not earned the top level salary that his current contract represents and also that he is very unlikely to earn more than the fair amount Licht will offer with a new deal if DM chooses to test the open market.

  18. 1Gr8Buc Says:

    Those of you counting on a 5th rounder who has yet to step foot on the practice field to replace Doug Martin have no clue. Quizz is NOT starter material, neither is Sims. Doug is by far our best option at RB.

    Joe feel free to report on EVERYTHING Mike Garafolo reported yesterday not picking something out and spinning it to what you want it to be. I watched the same thing you did and came away with an entirely different story than what you are attempting to conjure up.

  19. The Other Side of the Coin Says:

    So long as Martin performs well, he will stay with the team – this year. It’s unlikely he will be here next year as the team will need money to resign a host of other players who’s second contracts are coming up. Bucs will be looking for a replacement in who they have already on the team, or in the next draft. My guess is that Martin gets traded if he plays pro bowl level, or cut if he doesn’t.

  20. 813bucboi Says:

    he’ll be back to his 2015 form….hell give him a million dollar bonus if he hits 1,700 yards AND 10+ TD’s….GO BUCS!!!!

  21. SOEbuc Says:

    I really don’t think there is going to be a problem with Dougster. He seems like a good, mature guy that knows he’s learned his lesson. If there was a problem I don’t believe he would have come back looking like the lean, mean, Bucs machine they say he looks like. I also believe he’s going to continue to pump iron and get into better shape like he has been when he’s not going to be able to be with the team. With Sweezy, Ali, and Pamphile in the middle plus O.J., I’m damn excited. COME BACK AT HOME WEEK FOUR AGAINST THE GIANTS AND GET 120 YARDS DOUGIE!!!

  22. Cobraboy Says:

    Please! Stop with the “renegotiate for less” nonsense.

    The only way that can be done is to put Martin on waivers, and the chances of clearing waivers if he’s healthy and clean and motivated is close to *zero*. And even IF he cleared waivers, he would be a Free Agent and can negotiate with *any* team. If the Bucs cut him, what incentive would there be to re-signing with the Bucs after that insult?

    And if I understand the current CBA, Doug Martin is a “vested veteran” and as such has a one-time opportunity to have his salary guaranteed before Week 4 if he is on the roster.

    He’s a popular player with the other players. Cutting a healthy, motivated and clean Doug Martin over a measly 1-2 million could seriously damage team morale and the reputation of the Buc front office.