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After an injury-riddled 2014 season in which he rushed for 494 yards on 134 carries (3.7 avg.), the Buccaneers opted not to pick up the fifth-year option on Doug Martin’s rookie contract.
Yet despite the team’s lack of commitment, the former first-round pick doesn’t feel like he has anything extra to prove, saying that he understands the business while sounding confident in his ability to return to rookie form.
“It didn’t surprise me and it’s – I don’t want to say it’s ‘whatever,’ but it’s something that comes along with the business,” Martin said… “If I take care of everything in my control and stay healthy, I know everything will come into place for me.
“Right now, I feel awesome, feel great, body feels good, mind is right where it needs to be and I’m ready for the season.”
From trade speculation to the fact that he enters a contract year, there’s plenty of question surrounding Martin’s future with the Bucs. And while the former rookie sensation would surely be given another opportunity elsewhere, he expressed his desire to stay in Tampa.
“I believe it’s like every other year, I’m playing for the team,” Martin said. “I love this team, I love the players around here and I love playing for the city of Tampa… I already have my own house here and I’m just doing the backyard right now and it’s almost finished, so I would love to be back here.”
Perhaps he’s already started to make a case for an extension during organized team activities (OTAs). Martin looked smooth during Thursday’s session, making sharp cuts and catching out of the backfield during one-on-one drills against linebackers. The Boise State product was practicing with first-team offense and, according to Lovie Smith, he’ll stay with that group.
“He’s on the first team like he has always been,” Smith said. “He’s one of our guys, he’s our running back. He’s showing up and he is getting good work. I think it is just as simple as that.”
Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders.
Contact him at: [email protected]
I’m glad he wants to stay but your play will be the only thing that keeps you here
Doug Martin was a beast under Schiano. Maybe Lovie/Licht should go back and watch tape of his rookie year b/c they have no clue how to employ this guy on the gridiron. Doug gets stronger as the game carries on (1,900 yards from scrimmage as a rookie tells me he can play); releasing Penn/Joseph, trading Zuttah, and Carl Nicks retiring obliterated the chemistry Doug had with his blockers. You cant put Gilkey/Collins/Omameh/Dietrich-Smith in front of any RB and expect 100 yard games.
Thanyou deeznuts for you comments. I really think that Lovie should give him a fair share of the workload thru preeseason and really test this workhorse in his rookie yea. I just don’t want Martin to get cut loose if he is not injured.Its never too late to keep good running back.Give Him a Chance if he looks and performs well leading up to start of 2015 deason-Go Bucs
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