Expect Doug Martin to Remain with the Buccaneers
Doug Martin didn’t have his club option picked up by the Buccaneers leaving the possibility of him hitting the free agent market. He responded with one of he best seasons of his career, and with that, he will likely resign with the Buccaneers.
Doug Martin went into 2015 on a mission. That mission was to prove that to the Buccaneers that he was worth a long-term contract. How did Martin respond? He posted 1,402 yards and six touchdowns, his best year since his 2012 rookie campaign.
He earned it, and fans fear not, expect Martin to be back in 2016 and beyond.
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Even before Dirk Koetter was promoted, Doug Martin wanted to be back. Lovie Smith even wanted him back prior to his firing. Martin agreed, saying that coming back to Tampa Bay is his first priority:
"“It’s my fourth year here, and I’ve got a lot of relationships right here,” Martin said. “Like I said, I just love Tampa.”"
The first element is the interest of the player to return. Then, what does the team think? Well, if you listen to Dirk Koetter, the chances increased significantly when he was promoted.
"“Tell Jason Licht that I want Doug Martin!” Koetter said smiling. “Tell Jason. I’m putting my name on that. I want Doug Martin to be a Buc, so you tell him. Who wouldn’t want Doug Martin back?” Koetter added. “He’s a terrific football player, so of course we would like to have him back. Jason’s got control of that and I think he wants Doug back, too, but you guys have to get him on that one. But I’m pretty sure he does.”"
This is also a program, under Dirk Koetter, that Martin will be well-served in staying with. Keep in mind, with a 6-10 record, the Buccaneers played from behind a lot. But, in games they did win, Koetter showed a clear commitment to the running game. In their six wins, the Buccaneers ran the ball 212 times versus 164 pass attempts. As the playcaller, Dirk Koetter showed a commitment to the running game, and one can assume that will continue with him as the head coach.
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Besides anything else, Martin has had great success here in Tampa. In two healthy seasons, he hasn’t rushed for less than 1,400 yards. There is no reason to believe that a healthy Martin won’t continue the same success.
Both guys parties want Martin around, the team is committed to the run, and he has had success. Expect Martin to return, and continue that success for years to come.