Odd Man Out?

July 24th, 2017

Status discussed.

Yes, on Friday, the Bucs hit the practice fields at One Buc Palace to begin training camp 2017, the most anticipated Tampa Bay camp in years.

So it is always fun to try to project the roster. And Jenna Laine of ESPN.com did just that.

There appears to be a crowded backfield and only so many positions available, so Joe looked at Laine’s running backs groups. Joe was slightly surprised to see Bucs veteran Doug Martin is not listed by Laine. She explains.

Doug Martin will miss the first three games of the season because of a suspension, which is why he’s not listed. The Bucs will have some decisions to make after Week 3 in determining who should occupy the fourth and final spot. With Rodgers and Martin essentially capable of lining up as first- and second-down backs, and with Sims and McNichols more as third-down backs, Barber could be the odd man out — although he could be an asset in short-yardage situations.

This is what Joe has been saying all along, and so too have the Bucs, both on and off the record. Whenever Joe has asked a Bucs type about Martin, Joe always receives, basically, the same answer, sort of along the lines of “we don’t have to make a decision until October.”

Read into that what you wish. To Joe, that’s hardly a sign of encouragement — nor a sign of pending doom for Martin, either.

42 Responses to “Odd Man Out?”

  1. Not there yet Says:

    Yep we have a crowded backfield but it’s not known whether it’s crowded with talent or just bodies so if the run game has been garbage by the time week 4 rolls around and you have a chance to get Martin back at a discount I don’t know where the logic is that he’s a lock to be dismissed. He won’t get cut without a suitable replacement

  2. No_Bucs_Given Says:

    Joe has really backed off his bold Martin statements from months ago.
    Joe hasn’t backed off anything. That’s ludicrous. Joe still gives Martin a 10% shot of sticking on the roster. If injuries/problems arise before Week 4, then those odds improve.—Joe

  3. Pickgrin Says:

    We need a strong running game this year. Martin can and likely will help that cause starting with week 4 vs the tough Giants defense.

  4. Buccaneer scotty Says:

    Look at Martavis Bryant wide receiver for the Steelers Joker was suspended a year and they’re keeping him!

  5. tnew Says:

    I heard a report Barber had gained some weight to 235 (which is still light for FB but). His pass blocking issues are well documented but he is an excellent lead blocker and shows willingness to play bigger than his He might have a chance at becoming this teams fullback. He played a handful of times at that position and maybe the best candidate for short, quick hit dive plays. In addition, he has ok hands out of the backfield. The fly in the ointment is I have not heard of him spending any time at fullback, but that could be coming in training camp. No decision has to be made until after week 3. This is if all of the backs are healthy at this point.

  6. Fred E. Bucs Says:

    I think short of the first ever year, which was a diabolical mess, this is the most antipated camp in Bucs history. Hard Knocks. Jaemeis in third year, DJax, stadium renovations red hot new, indoor practice facility on the way. And oh, that kicking competition. LOL! Not a showcase but definitely has my attention!

  7. Fred E. Bucs Says:

    There is no reason the Bucs would say any more of less about Martin. Yup, “fool me twice…” so they will of course wait and see. But if Martin performs well in camp, he’ll make the roster–I think it’s that simple. We’re talking a team that wants to win now, so much so they very active in free agency (but still didn’t go after AP in FA or D. Cook in draft) brought in a kicker and veteran backup QB for a few mil–just to make sure they have the best team going forward. Again…Martin has a good camp, he’s in.

  8. SteelStudBuc Says:

    Scotty that’s why the steelers are a successful franchise and the buccaneers aren’t. They don’t throw good players away like leveon bell and bryant…. they give them a 2nd chance.

  9. doolnutts Says:

    If we were in any kind of cap trouble this would be a different conversation.. We have to much money to be cutting anyone of decent talent from the squad.

    Not there yet Says — Said it best. Yes there is a crowded backfield but until we see these guys in action who knows what we are getting. It would be foolish to cut Martin when we don’t have to.

  10. Defense Rules Says:

    So Jenna Laine believes Barber is odd man out? I don’t think so. Bucs will most likely start the season with 4 RBs on the 53-man roster: Rodgers, Sims, McNichols & Barber. By the end of Game 3 (when Martin’s suspension ends), 1 of those 4 will more than likely either be ineffective or will be banged up. McNichols hasn’t done anything yet & Sims more than likely won’t get his contract renewed next year IMO if McNichols pans out. Rodgers isn’t a 30-40 offensive downs back (run/pass/protect) for a whole season, and neither is Martin it seems. Gut feel is that Bucs will end up keeping BOTH Martin & Barber from Game 4 on.

  11. RayJameisStadium Says:

    If Barber or McNichols end up being a pleasant surprise this year, hopefully we can trade Martin for future picks.

    All is right on track!!!

    In Licht we trust!!!

  12. The Buc Realist Says:

    The Buc’s just have so many options which is a great thing!!!! The Buc’s will get a great look at the running back stable before any decision, or if an injury happens then a decision was made for them!!!!!!! a trade will be in the cards as well!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! but this all sounds so familiar???? Oh yea!!!! Its a “THE REALIST Repost”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The Buc Realist Says:
    May 18th, 2017 at 4:07 pm
    All the cards are in the Bucs hand!!!!!! Head Coach Koetter will get a great look at the running back stable thru training camp, preseason and 3 games into the season!!!! If the backs look good then it is cut/trade option for drug martin!!!!! Or if they are not getting the job done or injuries then its drug martin waiting in the wings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    No decision until the 12th hour, unless a trade partner comes knocking!!!!!!!!!

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

  13. K2 Says:

    Barber is a big running back…while the rest are small. I would think he has a good chance of being in the mix…depending on Sims vs McNichols play.

  14. BigHogHaynes Says:

    doolnutts you said it better!!

  15. BigHogHaynes Says:

    But Realist would you trade Martin before we see what the other backs can really do ie: Barber, BIG Mac, Rodgers, Sims (back from injury)!!?

  16. The Buc Realist Says:

    @Mr BigHogHaynes

    I would not right now, as I like the insurance policy against RB injury that drug martin is right now!!!!!! But after a decent look, and During Training camp/ pre-season games another team has a catastrophic injury like the viking had last year with their QB and made an obscene trade for Bradford I would !!!!!!!!!

    drug martin has to show that he is head and shoulders better than the other running backs!!!! His salary says that he should be twice the RB than the next RB on the Bucs roster!!!! If there is just a slight difference, he will be cut!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

  17. Cobraboy Says:

    If McNichols shows great hands in TC, I suspect it’ll be Simms as the odd man out. Of that group, he’s the only one I’d consider a “specialist” as purely a receiver.

    If Barber doesn’t show great hands, he could also be the odd man out. Specialist RB’s don’t fit the Bucs offensive scheme because they limit the playbook.

    I also won’t be surprised if Simms gets work in the slot.

    He needs to become a solid ST guy.

  18. BucTrooper Says:

    I still say they should have drafted Dalvin Cook. The Bucs had TEs. They didn’t have a RB.

  19. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Bucs management message to Martin and fans:

    Martin is currently number 1 on depth chart when he returns,
    But, there will be zero tolerance for any more BS

  20. stpetebucsfan Says:

    The problem is that the only player I can see getting past waivers to the practice squad is Barber…and I’m not even sure about him.

    Am I right. Players have to clear waivers before being placed on the practice squad?

    Obviously Martin is not a candidate…nor is Sims…and now Quizz had enough video in real games he wouldn’t make it…McNichols the rookie might make it but if he has a decent pre season that’s also doubtful.

    Which leaves us with that old Lovin Spoonful hit from the ’60’s.

    Did you ever have to make up your mind?
    And pick up on one and leave the other behind?
    It’s not often easy and not often kind.
    Did you ever have to make up your mind?

  21. stpetebucsfan Says:

    BTW I’m not sure why everybody assumes that Martin is the most talented back on our squad and that he’s a lock if he’s clean and healthy.

    He had two good years out of five. He’s a slightly better than average journeyman. Back duplicate his numbers and performance all the time. Look at his fellow BSU alum Ajayi in Miami…McNichols could be the next in line.

    I’m not trying to diss Martin as much as bring a little perspective. Martin was NEVER a game changer. He was for two years a very dependable back capable of shouldering the load but he’s NEVER been elite. I suspect there are a half dozen backs who got drafted this year who will be better and I’d be willing to wager that there will also be another like Ajayi who nobody expected to produce 1,000 yards who emerges.

  22. shouldhavedraftedeifert Says:

    Dang Joe you sure put some angle and spin on that quote. Says nothing of the sort what you are implying. Let it be known Joe is out for Hamster blood!
    You might want to check your reading comprehension skills. You missed a lot in this post. –Joe

  23. The Buc Realist Says:

    Great Points StPeteBucsFan!!!!!!!

    1 good year is a fluke!!!!!!

    2 good years back to back is a trend!!!!!

    2 out of 5 good years is inconsistency!!!!!!

    And the word on the street is that we will see less run between the tackles!!!! unless they are trying to set up something behind the linebackers!!!!!! There is A reason why they drafted McNichols, and you will see why when they are picking up easy 8 yards on dump passes because of the new found space from the upgraded WR’s and TE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

  24. Bucsfanman Says:

    @stpete- To your point, nobody on the roster has proven better than Martin at this point, even with the injuries and inconsistency. Sims is as unreliable and not the best runner, Rodgers was also hurt and clearly incapable of handling the load, Barber has shined in spot duty but hasn’t stood out, and we know nothing of McNichols as a pro.
    Until proven otherwise, Martin’s the best back on the team. With some luck, hopefully, McNichols proves to be that “diamond in the rough” because, one way or the other we were going to have to replace Martin in a year or two anyway.
    It’s not ‘either/or’ to me. The emergence of any of these backs can be nothing but good news for the Bucs.

  25. shouldhavedraftedeifert Says:

    Let it be known Joe is out for Hamster blood!
    You might want to check your reading comprehension skills. You missed a lot in this post. –Joe

    @Joe I read just good. I have 20 years of schooling, I graduated the 10th grade TWICE!

  26. Lord Cornelius Says:

    @ Realist

    Agree I’ve basically had the same opinion and thoughts on this for months.

    The most ideal situation imo is McNichols being the next Jordan Howard; and us rolling with him / Rodgers / Sims / Barber as our rotation; and getting some sort of draft pick for Martin from a team with a desperate RB situation.

    Thing is I just don’t see us getting much for Martin. Most NFL teams have better backfields than us and many took RBs in the draft. I can’t even see a single team that really would be desperate for him even if their best RB went down. Maybe the Lions or something and maybe for like a 5th at best

  27. R.O. Says:

    If the Bucs are “all in” on a deep playoff run. Then it makes ZERO sense to not make room on the Roster for DM. Lets see… a #1 RB in the bullpen; or a 6th LB who is inactive. A 6th DE who is inactive. A 3rd QB who is inactive. RB is the most injury prone position. A healthy DM in week 14, 15, 16.. I mean come on. Understood he does nor Play Special Teams. But you only dress 46. Going to cut a top 10 player on your roster to keep a 53rd?

  28. LongSeason Says:

    I still say that the decision on Martin will be based on a couple of things.
    1. The state of the running game through the first three games.
    a. If firing on all cylinders then Doug could be gone.
    b. If running game is struggling then Martin get inserted into line up
    2. Doug Martin’s condition when his suspension is over.
    a. Doug is in shape, looking and acting the part of bell-cow running back then it helps.
    b. Doug comes in out of shape, out of breath and has Twinkies crumbs all over his clothes and mustard and ketchup stains on his shirt then he is gone.
    At least the Bucs have a window to make a decision. I’m rooting for Doug. He seems as if he is a likable guy that we know has the ability to carry the rock. He can also be a disaster. We will she who shows up after week 3.

    Will it be the Douginator or the Druginator?

  29. stpetebucsfan Says:


    Agree with your hope for at least a draft pick. Martins value will be determined in part by how he performs in the pre season. If he looks like his former self that will attract interest.

    My question would be how will we unload him at his present salary. If we cut him he becomes a lot more valuable to a team because he’ll have to take a dramatic paycut and perhaps present some value.

    Bottom line for me is there are a lot of moving pieces in the Martin saga. How he plays in the preseason…how are other backs perform…needs around the league…salary caps around the league…I honestly believe NOBODY including Licht and Koetter is certain in how this plays out. Too many variables.

  30. stpetebucsfan Says:

    So far the worst thing about growing older is total lack of homnym spelling.

    our not are…

  31. Maze Says:

    Up early trolling again I see Joe

  32. The Buc Realist Says:


    I do thing that a trade is “remote” at best, but an option the Bucs would happily take if the right situation came up!!!!!! And by the way, Red Rocks is amazing!!!! Did the 4th of July concert there and the sunrise service later on!!!!

  33. TrollSlayer Says:

    i really like all of the tape i have seen on mcnichols–if martin doesnt stick i would be ok with a RB by committee approach of rodgers, mcnichols, sims, and barber if that what it takes ride it out til 2018 and seek a new feature back

  34. Pickgrin Says:

    ” Joe still gives Martin a 10% shot of sticking on the roster”

    Not giving yourself much wiggle room there Joe.

    IMO – based on everything that has happened to this point before TC – I’d say there’s more like a 60-70% chance that Doug Martin remains a Buccaneer for the 2017 season.

    If Martin gets hurt – or if McNichols wins the starting job and looks amazing for 3 regular season games, then the chances go way down obviously.

    I also agree with spbf in that “NOBODY including Licht and Koetter is certain in how this plays out”. But I believe they are leaning strongly towards keeping Doug as long as he looks good in TC and Preseason.

    I think the biggest unknown in this – is the team will rightfully want Martin to sign a new contract (similar to Sweezy’s new deal) a fair one that gives some contractual protection to the team if Doug’s “issues” were to pop up again on top of a small pay decrease. That will be Doug’s decision. But it seems highly likely he will see the benefit of staying in Tampa Bay for this year with a fair offer on the table as opposed to taking his chances on the free market where he could earn a good bit less.

    If AP is only worth $3M at age 32 coming off an injury year. What’s DM worth at 29 coming off his 3rd “injury year” out of the previous 5? Doug Martin is a very good NFL running back when healthy and motivated. But the fact is he has only 2 good years on his resume and has been injured/ineffective for 60% of his career.

    Will be very interesting to see this all play out. Its a looooong time until the 4th week of the regular season and Doug’s career is basically in total limbo until then. Its his own doing so I don’t feel sorry for him. Hopefully it provides Doug with exactly the motivation he needs to dig deep and have the best year of his career from day 1 of TC to the final seconds of a February game in Minneapolis.

  35. Pickgrin Says:

    My bad – Doug is 28 until next January.

  36. BigHogHaynes Says:

    Management with the GM and Coach (I assume) has decided to keep Martin (so far), and as fans we would only hope for the best out of BIG MAC, maybe move SIMS to the receiver group, and hope that RODGERS can continue to be productive……for those who think that we don’t need a “special back” because they think we have so many other weapons, you are only fooling yourself, this offense will work better and more consistently with a capable running back!! TRAINING CAMP will be the place that we began to find the answer to the Running Back Position!!!! GO BUCS!!

  37. Pick6 Says:

    jacquizz rodgers was an above average spot starter last year, nothing more. other than a small sample size of games last year where Martin was easily going to draw more attention than his backups\stand-ins when in the backfield, we have no evidence to think that we have a credible #1 in Martin’s absence.

  38. 813bucboi Says:

    cut or trade sims…..he’s a lousy dancer….GO BUCS!!!!

  39. Fsuking Says:

    Joe is so desperate to not look like a fool in the Doug Martin saga, that he is writing poorly done articles about Jenna Laine’s poorly done article. Just face it, Doug is our back. It is embarrassing when you say dumb things like Doug has a 10% chance of making the squad. It makes me question other things you say, instead of looking at you as my Bucs insider.

  40. Fsuking Says:

    85% chance Doug makes it and starts, 10% chance that Doug gets hurt and cut, 5% chance of relapse. 100% chance that Joe doesn’t understand the situation here

  41. Lord Cornelius Says:

    @ST Pete – yeah i agree i don’t think anyone has any specific plan they see playing out as much as we’re all in wait and see mode

    @Realist – awesome! Red rocks is the best! I was there the weekend after the 4th for Chapelle. I’m hoping our band can get on that stage one day. Our bassist actually got to play there as an opener back in the day

  42. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I’ll go you all one further. I predict only three running backs will make the final roster and Aguayo will use that extra spot the first 3 games. Barber will be put on the ps if he clears waivers.

    Giving the spot to Aguayo will allow the Bucs to test him in live game situations.

    If they still are not 100% convinced when Martin comes back, they find another way to keep him.