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Are the Bucs willing to let Martin walk?

There’s an old saying that if you truly love something, then you should set it free. We’ve all heard it in one way or another, and in some ways it’s a true statement. It could pertain to children, an ex paramour, maybe even a pet, there’s a lot to offer out in the world that one needs to explore for themselves. Somehow though, in the wonderful world of NFL free agency, that saying takes on a slightly different meaning. For the Buccaneers in particular, we may soon find if that old sentiment rings true for RB Doug Martin.

As of this writing, both Martin and the organization have yet to come to an agreement on a new deal. According to writer Kevin Patra, the negotiations are centering on guaranteed money in which the “Dougernaut” is looking to make around $8 million a year. Now, keep in mind that Martin was the second leading rusher in the league this past year, and was one of the keys to the minor success the team had. But this was a contract year for him, and while his season was good, his production the previous two years were not so great. In 2013, he only rushed for 456 yards and one TD score, followed by a 494-yard, 2 TD campaign in 2014. The receiving performance for both those years were almost non-existent.

I brought up the previous two seasons because Martin, like any star player on a team, is looking to get their money. Mind you, his 2015 season was helped by having Jameis Winston, but the question is does he deserve $8 million. Its already been determined that the Buccaneers didn’t use the franchise tag on him, which might have not sat well for the back. Licht also mentioned that both the club and Martin himself wants him to remain in Tampa. Yet the team did declined the fifth year option on his contrract.

I can’t say yay or nay if both sides will come to an agreement or not. Charlie Sims would be the next guy to step into the featured role. While Sims isn’t exactly a premiere back, he’s an able body that can get the job done. There’s also the possibility of picking up a back in the draft, though that position isn’t (and shouldn’t be) high on their priority list. But considering the rapport that Winston already has with Martin, a deal can still get done to keep Dougernaut in Tampa Bay. But the clock is ticking, and if a deal isn’t set by next Wednesday, we may have seen the last of Doug Martin.

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