Bucs in a tough spot with Doug Martin

The Buccaneers 38-31 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars featured a successful running game. While it was a joint effort, fourth-year back Doug Martin was a big reason for it. 

Martin finished the game with 123 yards rushing on 24 carries and two touchdowns. His ninth 100-yard game makes him tied for third in team history with the most 100-yard games. He also finished with three receptions for 35 yards and a touchdown.

“When I go into a game, I just think about if I do my job and play hard, then everything else will fall into place,” Martin said following the game Sunday. “I find a way to do my job and just keep on punching and something eventually is going to pop. That was my mentality going into the game.”

That mentality worked as his performance puts him in the running for this week’s NFL FedEx Air & Ground Player of the Week. And his two touchdowns may make him the favorite.

But beyond his weekly success so far this season is a bigger situation. And that is whether the Bucs should (or can they) keep him for the long term. The team decided this past offseason to not pick up his fifth year option on his contract. It has clearly been a motivational tool as it has forced Martin to perform.

But Martin is running like he did his rookie season. He is looking better in his running style and appears determined to prove the Bucs wrong in not picking up his option.

However, how many times have we seen a player perform well during their contract year and once they get a new contract fade away once again? Will that be the case with Martin as well?

Tampa Bay can begin contract discussions at any point, including in season, if they decide to move forward with him. In a way, they should. Just to see where is mind set is. Then there is also Charles Sims who appears to have improved from last season’s inconsistencies as a rookie, making their thought process on the matter much more difficult.

There are a lot of questions surrounding how the front office should handle the situation in the backfield. While some view it as there being time left to decide on what to do, that time to make a decision can run out quickly. Then Tampa Bay can find themselves regretting the decision they made.

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3 Comments on Bucs in a tough spot with Doug Martin

Dan Forrest said : Guest Report 10 months ago

He is the only solid player we have right now, The recievers are only as good as their QB, so don't get rid of a sure thing, and trade for someone who you think may be good at that spot. Example Josh McCown     Lets learn from our mistakes.  To be successful we have to develope some continuiaty as a team. Just like the good teams do. Doug is a KEEPER  PAY HIM

Luvbucs28 said : Guest Report 10 months ago

we need to keep our playmakers , he's running as good as ever , leave the core players on the team and let them be the staples & help the team succeed without having to keep training new Bucs to communicate & grow as one team - Doug should stay , unless you know something we don't , I see him as an asset . 22 is golden right now & we bed to e tend his contract

PewterBleedin said : Guest Report 10 months ago

Now that they did not pick up his option I think they should start some kind of talks about a contract. I just hope he continues to perform if he does come back. We know how RBs are these days with short NFL life spans.

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