Buccaneers Refuse to Franchise Tag Doug Martin
As expected, the Buccaneers decide not to franchise Doug Martin. What does his future hold?
The period to assign the franchise tag to players has come and gone, and it has gone as expected for the Buccaneers. Doug Martin, despite his return to stardom with 1,400 yards rushing, has not been given the franchise tag. If the Bucs and Martin do not come to an agreement by March 9th, he will hit the free agent market.
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This actually comes as no surprise, as it has been rumored for weeks that Martin was not going to receive the tag. Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times believes that Martin is looking to “hit the jackpot” coming off of his career season.
Now, Kevin Patra of NFL.com believes that Doug is looking for a deal in the $8 million range. If that is the case, we likely will see him back in the Pewter this season. As a player that has had two stellar seasons, and two not so good seasons, this is fair market value. It would put Martin in the range of DeMarco Murray, LeSean McCoy, and Jonathan Stewart.
But, if he can hit the open market, why should he accept $8 million? Martin is coming off of a terrific season, with, 1,402 yards, 4.9 yards per carry, and 87.6 yards per game. He finished second overall in the NFL in rushing, behind only Adrian Peterson. Peterson, on average, earns $14 million per year in his current contract.
Justin Schmick wrote in a previous post that Martin could seek $11-12 million per year, which coincidentally falls in the range of the franchise tag number. With the current turn of events, Justin may be absolutely right. There are a lot of teams that could use a running back like Martin. If he asks for it, is not out of the realm of possibility that he will get it.
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It doesn’t appear as though he will get the much from the Bucs. Will he take a hometown discount to stay in town? Bucs’ fans certainly hope so. At this point, it’s even money that he won’t, and that Jason Licht will be looking for a new running back.