The contract situation between the Bucs and running back Doug Martin will eventually come full circle. But for now, the waiting game continues as we get closer to the start of free agency.
Martin, who had his most productive year last season, is reportedly going to test free agency. It is believed that he is looking for somewhere around $7 million or higher. Frankly, that’s too much. Martin has had two seasons out of four where he has been healthy. His numbers and productivity in 2015 is certainly a good reason to play the leverage game with Tampa Bay but it’s also not the end of the world for the them.
Running back Charles Sims proved himself to be a legitimate threat out of the backfield under head coach Dirk Koetter’s offense. He totaled 1,090 yards on 158 touches last season and was a great compliment to Martin. Sims is capable of being something close to a featured back and some feel there is no chance he becomes that. This theory has led many to want Miami Dolphins running back Lamar Miller in pewter.
Miller did well for Miami last season but that has resulted in the 24-year-old wanting to be the focus of a running game. I am not so sure he will find that with the Bucs which will disappoint many he saw that is a likely option.
The truth is, running backs can come from anywhere and perform just as well as the guy in front of them. Martin has left a soft spot within many, many fans for all the right reasons. But you are not basing his contract off of one season but rather his career to this point.
For that reason, and that reason alone, let him test free agency. If he stays, great. If not, Sims will do just fine.