One of the biggest questions heading into Monday night’s NFC South match-up between Tampa Bay and Atlanta was if Doug Martin would get the start at running back for the Buccaneers after being out-gained last week against Detroit. In a big twist, Martin was declared inactive by the Bucs for violating team rules, meaning that Peyton Barber will get his second NFL start.

Barber rushed for a career high 102 yards on 23 carries against the Packers while Martin was inactive due to a concussion. When Martin was cleared to return from concussion protocol last week against the Lions he was declared the starter and rushed for 26 yards on 10 carries (2.6 avg.) with a touchdown Barber rushed for 58 yards on 12 carries (4.8 avg.).

Martin is the Bucs’ leading rusher with 129 carries for 402 yards (3.1 avg.) with three touchdowns, while Barber has rushed for 248 yards on 65 carries (3.8 avg.) and two touchdowns this season. Martin has failed to rush for 500 yards in four of the last five seasons and he will not likely return to Tampa Bay next season.

This latest transgression, combined with sub-par production, could very well seal Martin’s fate in Tampa Bay – regardless of who the Bucs coach is in 2018 – as he is set to earn $6.75 million in base salary. Martin was suspended for four games – the final game of 2016 and the first three games of 2017 – for violating the league’s substance policy. That voided any guaranteed money that was left in his contract. Martin’s 2017 salary was reduced to $5,764,706 due to his three-game suspension.

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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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VTBucs
VTBucs
4 years ago

Oh boy, what did Dougie do now??

devasher
devasher
4 years ago

Raise your hand if you’re not surprised that Jason Licht decided to pay full price for Doug Martin’s ungaruanteed contract even though he was facing a 3 game suspension this year and had piss poor production two of the last three years.

Why renegotiate a bad contract when you can just pay all 5.75 million and pretend like it was guaranteed? 😂

chefboho
chefboho
4 years ago

Doug hasn’t been active all season

surferdudes
4 years ago

I think this is more a strike against Licht, then Martin. What’s that saying, fool me once, fool me twice? Licht was a fooled.

scubog
scubog
4 years ago

More hopeful than “fooled.” Plus did we really have much of a choice? I’m sure this off-season will bring an entirely new RB group.

Bob Will
Bob Will
4 years ago

Watching the game last night I wondered, “They run a sweep play right then a sweep play left and every now and then a run up the gut. But Atlanta was using the whole field. Tampa ran just left of the center then just right of the center, then right up the centers back and we wonder why none of our running backs can make good yardage. We ran two sweeps with wide receivers all night and both made eight to nine yards but not once did we run a toss sweep to a running back. When we run it… Read more »