The Buccaneers decided not to pick up the fifth-year option in running back Doug Martin‘s contract. All indications we’ve received for months is how high the staff believes in second-year back Charles Sims. But what exactly is the situation in Tampa Bay’s backfield?
General manager Jason Licht appeared on NBC Sports Radio’s Under Center on Friday and talked about several things surrounding the Bucs roster. When co-host Donovan McNabb asked Licht if the running back spot was Martin’s to lose, Licht said it was, but with a catch.
“It is (Martin’s job to lose),” said Licht. “But we’re going to take a little bit of a running back by committee and I think that’s how you have to do it. Charles Sims, to come back here for OTAs, is picking up where he left off and he is a very explosive athlete with great hands and Doug has never looked better.”
Licht would go on and mention how offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter is big on Martin’s abilities in the offense.
“[Dirk Koetter] really like Doug Martin and that was one of the first things he talked about when he looked at our tape. When he got the job he said ‘I think Doug Martin is going to be a very pivotal player in this offense.'”
Licht adds that the combination of Martin, Sims and Bobby Rainey makes them feel good about the backfield. But the question remains, will they be able to perform in 2015.
Earlier this week head coach Lovie Smith also had nice things to say about Martin by saying he “is our running back” and that he remains on the first-team offense. Still, you have to wonder if there is such high praise for Martin, why make him an unrestricted free agent after this season?