Former Tampa Bay general manager and current ESPN NFL analyst Mark Dominik sounded off on the suspension of Bucs running back Doug Martin, who failed a league drug test for PED usage. The drug has been reported to be Adderall, an amphetamine, but it is possible that Martin has other drug issues that haven’t been reported, too, because he admitted that he was going to seek treatment at a rehabilitation facility.

Dominik, who traded up to draft Martin at the bottom of the first round in 2012, actually wasn’t surprised by the news of the suspension following the two-time Pro Bowler’s sub-500-yard season – his third such season in the past four years.

Bucs RB Doug Martin – Photo by: Getty Images

“Disappointed, not surprised,” Dominik said. “I don’t think surprised is a fair word to use, certainly disappointed. Let’s be honest, these are his choices and I’m just hopeful that whatever help he’s really getting now is real and genuine, and that he spends the time to make sure he’s got himself in place.”

Dominik wouldn’t elaborate any more on Martin’s drug issues, but the fact he wasn’t surprised by the suspension alludes to the fact that there were likely prior concerns or possible occurrences of past usage by Martin during his earlier years with the Bucs when Dominik was the G.M. through the 2013 season.

“My first thought when I heard it was extremely disappointed, and I felt for Tampa because they committed to him and he didn’t live up to his end of the deal,” Dominik said. “I felt bad for the fans, I felt bad for the organization and I was disappointed in Doug.”

Martin, who rushed for 1,402 yards and was the league’s second-leading rusher in 2015, which was the last year of his rookie contract, signed a five-year deal worth $35.75 million and included $15 million in guaranteed money. In hindsight, knowing about Martin’s past issues, the Bucs could have gone a safer route by simply picking up his fifth-year option for $5.621 million in 2016 prior to the 2015 season rather than signing him to such a rich extension.

However, the team ultimately lucked out from a salary cap standpoint given Martin’s drug usage. After Martin rushed for a career-low 421 yards and three touchdowns in eight games, his suspension voids the $7 million in guaranteed money he’s due in 2017. Martin had a paltry 2.9-yard average while playing in eight games in 2016 and failed to record a run of 20 yards or more despite 144 carries.

The Boise State product missed six games due to a hamstring injury, in addition to the New Orleans and Carolina games at the end of the season due to his positive drug test. Martin was benched for the Saints game as the team received late word that he would face a suspension, but his actual suspension didn’t start until the season finale against Carolina.

Bucs RB Doug Martin & head coach Dirk Koetter – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter told PewterReport.com at the Senior Bowl that the team had not yet made a decision about keeping Martin or releasing him. Tampa Bay doesn’t owe Martin his $7 million base salary unless he makes the 53-man roster.

“That would be a Jason [Licht] question and one we couldn’t talk about today anyway because we don’t know,” Koetter said. “Health plays into every player on your roster. Some guys have a knack for being able to stay healthy, I mean look at [left tackle] Donovan Smith who’s played every single snap for two years, and I knock on wood as I say that. Doug, when he’s healthy, has been an excellent performer in this league and a high-level performer.

“When Doug is not healthy, there’s not much he or any coach can do about it. In 2015, both Doug and Charles Sims had excellent years and they stayed healthy, and in 2016 they didn’t. That’s really my thoughts on that and anything else that’s going to happen is yet to be determined.”

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About the Author: Scott Reynolds

Scott Reynolds is in his 27th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive coordinator/defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]
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drdneast
drdneast
5 years ago

Dominick surprised me and disappointed me both when he was our GM.
Befuddling picks and crazy contracts to marginal performers and injured FA’s.
Wonder if he can find a job at a Bath N’ Beyond because with his past performance I doubt he will ever see an NFL front office again, not even in Cleveland.

chetthevette
chetthevette
Reply to  drdneast
5 years ago

Looks like you and me were on the same page and at the same time, right on drd.
GO BUCS

cgmaster27
cgmaster27
Reply to  drdneast
5 years ago

Nah he’s too busy giving half assed analysis on ESPN. Took us years to get out of his blunders.

chetthevette
chetthevette
5 years ago

What ever happens with Doug is sill a major mystery. I am positive Licht has a plan. I do know this, if Dominick was still the GM he would screw this way up. I blame him for the years the we sucked. Licht is still sweeping up elephant turds after him. Who does this guy think he is. Surprised , not surprised , disappointed. Who is he to throw out that kind of bulls**t and slam Martin in such a way. If he was so smart he would have gotten another GM job. He’s like a politician, throw out some… Read more »

stlbucsfan
stlbucsfan
5 years ago

I have no problem with Dom stating that he’s aware of Dougs issues which he’s qualified to comment on. He didn’t elaborate or go into specifics but did make it seem like this isn’t news per say to anyone that really knew him and considering he drafted him I think he fits the bill. Who cares about what he did as GM he’s only shedding some light on the obvious issue which is Doug Martins addiction to something that goes beyond Adderrall. Cut Doug if we can replace him or re structure him bc he should only be playing on… Read more »

Horse
Horse
5 years ago

This should come under as lessons learned? If I’m the NFL I am demanding all players must do a drug test prior to signing any contract; unless it is already inplace, but not inforced?
Bucs have the control here. I expect they will keep Martin if he passes drug test weekl. They will give him another shot, but not with guaranteed money. He took 8 million dollars in 2016 knowing he had a drug problem; he’s has much to make up with the community, but I know he can do it.

jshumaker
jshumaker
5 years ago

Honestly I hope he cleans his life up and we resign him at a very cheap rate

Not to make light of his situation, but if it was cocaine that he was using that was one of the most expensive lines that anybody has ever snorted

drdneast
drdneast
5 years ago

It was not cocaine but aderall which is prescription meficeine given to adults with ADHD.
They drug test players all the time in the NFL, especially during the combine. They also get tested everytime you take a physical.
If you get on their list of first time offendets you are tested constantly.
Martin did the right thing by voluntarily going into rehab. If ASJ had ever done that he probably would srill be with the Bucs today.

Horse
Horse
Reply to  drdneast
5 years ago

I think it was more than just that. The good news if he wants to not use whatever it is, he can do it.

devasher
devasher
Reply to  drdneast
5 years ago

Josh Freeman also used the adderall excuse when he failed a test. Josh went from setting Bucs passing records at 23 to out of the league by 28. Good luck believing it was adderall the felled him. Adderall is a stimulant and will come up as such on a drug screen. Generally drug screens do not determine whether a stimulant is adderal, coke, meth etc. And the NFL isn’t voluntarily releasing those records. So it’s in a players best interest to have the agent tell news sources that the stimulant they were using was adderall and not a drug with… Read more »

macabee
macabee
5 years ago

The Tampa Bay Times’ Rick Stroud doesn’t believe Doug Martin is part of the Bucs’ plans for 2017. “You have to address the running back situation,” Stroud said. “I don’t think Martin is going to be part of their plans, short- or long-term, in my opinion. That’s just me.” Tampa Bay has an easy out with Martin. As a result of his failed drug test, the guaranteed money on his deal was voided, and the Bucs can get out of it scot-free. Martin just turned 28 earlier this month and has had one good season since his 2012 rookie year.… Read more »

Naplesfan
Naplesfan
Reply to  macabee
5 years ago

Drafting a running back, or even signing a free agent, doesn’t necessarily signal the end of Martin’s time in Tampa. Most teams have at least two quality RBs to carry most of the rushing load, due to different playing styles and capabilities, and also to deal with the fact that RBs get injured a lot … more any other position on the offense. The first real indication will be whether, and when, the Bucs void Martin’s contract, and what they say about it at the time. If Licht just voids Martin’s contract and leaves it at that, then he’s likely… Read more »

scubog
scubog
5 years ago

The rumor is Adderal, but there has been no official declaration of the substance(s). Adderal seems to be the one cited by some agents because they think it sounds less serious than crack. Kids who take Adderal for ADHD aren’t crushing and snorting it. Who knows what #22 was really ingesting?

On the plus side, the Bucs don’t really need to make a decision on Doug Martin until after the first three weeks of the 2017 season. That should be plenty of time to conclude their evaluation. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.