Doug Martin (Grade: C-)
The Bucs had a decision to make on running back Doug Martin last year, as the 2012 first-round pick was heading into free agency. Because he was coming off of an outstanding season in which he rushed for 1,402 yards and six touchdowns, the team decided to give him a five-year, $35.8 million contract.
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The signing seemed smart at the time, but one year later, it’s not looking so good. Martin struggled early in 2016 before going down with an injury. Upon his return, he was still ineffective. Then, the big news hit in late December that the NFL was giving him a four-game suspension for violating the league’s drug policy. Martin then announced in a statement that he would be entering rehab to get some help.
At this point, Tampa Bay has another decision to make regarding the 28-year-old. There’s seems to be a high likelihood that he gets let go, but the team won’t take a cap hit due to the circumstances surrounding it. Since his guarantees in the contract were voided due to the suspension, the Bucs would actually save $7 million by cutting him. So, the signing gets a C-minus just because it didn’t work out whatsoever. The grade would be lower, but since the deal won’t hurt in the long run, the front office dodged a bit of a bullet.