Bucs make smart move in re-signing Doug Martin
(Editor’s note: Grades and analysis for this article may be updated as further details of the deal are reported.)
The deal: Tampa Bay re-signs running back Doug Martin to five-year, $35.75-million deal, with $15 million guaranteed
What it means for the Bucs: Tampa Bay had to put up quite a bit of money to keep Martin, but only a little more than $3 million more in guaranteed money than had they given him the franchise tag. With Marshawn Lynch retiring along with Arian Foster, and Matt Forte getting cut last week, Martin will likely move into the top five highest-paid running backs in average money per year.
We saw similar play from Martin this past season that we did from him as a rookie. When healthy, he’s proven to be a powerful, productive runner. He led the league with 906 yards after contact, when only 10 running backs had more than 906 total rushing yards. He also ranked first in missed tackles forced (57), fourth in elusive rating (65.7) and second in breakaway percentage (42.1). While his best year did come in a contract year, he had shown similar performance as a rookie.
Martin’s production is largely dependent on his ability to stay healthy. The emergence of Charles Sims should help with this, as it will prevent the Bucs from overworking Martin.