In his press conference Monday, Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht discussed Doug Martin joining the team for OTAs and his role moving forward.
Everything said about Buccaneers running back Doug Martin at this point is sheer speculation. Some believe he deserves – and will get – a second chance coming off his rehab. Others believe the writing is on the wall and Martin won’t be part of this team come Fall. Either way, the Martin conversation creates a lot of debate and emotion.
So what does Jason Licht think about everything?
When asked about Martin’s mentality when he showed up to One Buc, Licht was positive and encouraging;
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"“Yeah, he seemed very focused. We had a great conversation. He seemed very focused and we had a great conversation. I don’t want to get into details of it, but we had a great conversation. I know Dirk and I were very happy with the way it went and we don’t have to make a decision right now, but we are very pleased with where Doug is right now”"
When the topic of Martin’s future arose, that’s when things got a bit more interesting;
"“We have until then to make the decision, so we will see. We have a lot of time between now and then. We have a lot of things we need to see and we want to see and we want to hear. We have in the back of our minds kind of a little bit of a time table, but that time table is until the fourth week of the season.”"
That doesn’t seem like a ringing endorsement of any sort. Again, this is pure speculation, but one would tend to believe that if Martin was in the plans moving forward, Licht would say so. That Martin is “their guy” and they’re looking forward to seeing Martin “return to his Pro Bowl form starting in week four.”
Constantly reminding media and fans that they have time to make a decision on him is really only saying they aren’t too keen on the idea of Martin coming back. That they are exploring other options that will likely unseat the two time Pro Bowler and they dodged a bullet by getting out of this contract with zero repercussions.
Maybe it’s because I lean more towards the Doug Martin won’t be a Buccaneer in 2017 side of the debate, but this isn’t exactly something you’d want to hear your general manager say if you’re in Doug Martin’s shoes.