Bucs RB Doug Martin – Photo by: Getty Images
First he was reported to be a healthy scratch (again), then he was absent at practice. It was reported he was stepping away from the team, but now we know the Bucs top running back Doug Martin is stepping away because he’s facing a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on performance enhancing substances.
On Wednesday, Dirk Koetter opened up his press conference by addressing the elephant in the room of Martin’s status, but didn’t exactly shed light on it. “Doug was excused today. There’s gonna be an announcement coming pretty quick from Doug. There will be a statement coming from him.”
According to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, Martin’s official announcement would be that he is stepping away from the team to “take care of personal issues.”
We now know that those personal issues include getting busted for a performance enhancing substance.
“I was notified last week of a four-game suspension for violating the league’s drug policy” Martin said. “My initial instinct was to appeal the suspension and finish the season with my teammates. However, after numerous discussions with people close to me – including Coach Koetter – I am starting the suspension immediately so I can enter a treatment facility and receive the help I truly need.”
Martin was on the roster for the Saints game (even though he was scratched), so that game did not count towards his four-game suspension. That means his suspension would carry over to the first three regular season games of 2017. This also could affect Martin’s $7 million guaranteed money for the 2017 season.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers put out their own statement in reaction to Martin’s status.
“Doug has been a valued member of our organization for the past five seasons and we respect and support his decision to seek help” said Bucs General Manager Jason Licht. “Right now, he is working through issues that are much larger than the game of football. Our primary concern is that he takes this time to focus on getting the help that he needs in order to move forward with his personal and professional life.”
“I sincerely apologize to the Glazer family, General Manager Jason Licht and the entire Tampa Bay organization, my teammates and our tremendous fans” said Martin. This was not the season I envisioned and I have let everyone down, including myself. However, adversity yields opportunity and I ask for your support in my battle to overcome these personal issues.”
Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for PewterReport.com. Sikkema, an alumnus of the University of Florida, has covered both college and professional football for much of his career. As a native of the Sunshine State, when he's not buried in social media, Sikkema can be found out and active, attempting to be the best athlete he never was. Sikkema can be reached at: [email protected]
WE got trouble right here in River City or there’s something rotten in Denmark – Don’t know which, but keep your kids off the street. It ain’t safe out there yet.
Awww, come on Bucs. We’ve just started to make progress, please don’t let some BS upset our locker room now! #justsayitaintso
Turns out Dougie failed a drug test. Pretty shocking. Bad enough for him to get into rehab. As I’ve said add RB to the list of team needs.
Yeah, I just got that. It’s on NFL.Com.Breaking news: Bucs RB Doug Martin was notified last week of a four-game suspension for violating the league’s drug policy. He is entering a treatment facility for help. He has a PSA out now to explain what happened with apologies included. Wish the young man good luck in getting his life in order!
Please explain how and why someone goes to rehab for PEDs??? THAT makes zero sense.
I don’t think it was PED’s. They said it was the substance abuse testing he failed. Could be any number of things, but if he’s going to rehab for it, hope he gets well.
My bad, just came out that it was Adderral. It’s what the sea hawks defense runs on.
I never expected this nor saw this coming from Doug; I just thought he had an nagging injury and this was why his performance was down. Very disappointed, but mistakes like this can be a wake up call. I hope it is and he can break his habit. Some of this new stuff requires a lot of support and help. You can do this Doug!
Doug should get his money back for what ever he was taking, it sure didn’t enhance his performance. This wasn’t a mistake with a sports drink, Doug must have a real problem.
Well then he should have come clean BEFORE last Sunday and wold have had only two games left. But more importantly, his 7 million for next year, previously guaranteed with his new contract is now voided. Whatever the drug was, it means the end of his career here. It’s really pretty sad.
I wish Doug the best in his recovery. I am pleased that he realized he needs help and is willing to get it. God speed, Doug.
Pewter Report Trevor? The way I read it was he was notified before the Saints game and decided to start the suspension then? Did I get it right? Does this null and voids his contract?
Horse, I read it the same way, but get Trevor’s opinion too! Here’s part of his statement that led me to believe he’s already serving the suspension. Implied in that is he is looking to return somewhere! Hope It’s the Bucs as I love a great comeback story. But maybe not because I’ve also read that his guaranteed 7mil has been voided. Best to wait for details.
Excerpt from statement: I was notified last week of a four-game suspension for violating the league’s drug policy. My initial instinct was to appeal the suspension and finish the season with my teammates. However, after numerous discussions with people close to me – including Coach Koetter – I am starting the suspension immediately so I can enter a treatment facility and receive the help I truly need.
Macabee; thank you. I would cut him and save the 7.5 million.
Martin was on the roster for the Saints game, so he couldn’t have started it then. He and the team were notified of the failed test last week, and Martin thought about appealing it, but I think this Monday or Tuesday they decided to just serve the suspension.
And it doesn’t make the entirety of his contract null and void, but it does take away the “guarantee” part of any contract when a player fails a drug test.
Trevor, thank you.
I’m shocked he just didn’t seem like the type. Quiet and pretty humble. Guess you never know. This makes more sense now because we are all scratching our heads about him being benched. Rehab for steroids? Sounds more like something else. Very strange guess we will find out.
Disappointing. Very, very…very disappointing.
Thank you Doug for all your efforts! Realistically, the Bucs have to move on from Martin. I appreciate his time with the Bucs and I wish him well! With the many times the Bucs have signed FAs that were injured or that never played for us, we don’t have the luxury paying an older RB( 7 mil) who may now have some personal demons. Our young and up and coming stars don’t allow us to wait and see IF he can get his self back together , while he may have a good year or two left in his legs, I believe we have seen the last of the muscle hamster! This draft class is a good class for RBs in the middle rounds. Time to turn the page and move on. Rodgers in for Martin is a wash at a more manageable salary. It’s a young man’s game! Go Bucs!
You must be one of them Nole homers to suggest such a thing. Haha Unfortunately, I doubt he’ll be there when we pick.
Cook would be an amazing pick for Bucs! I believe he might be gone before we have a chance to get him. Besides, I would like to get the biggest grainfed OL who can benchpress a tractor and has a mean streak like a junkyard dog! Protect the Franchise!
Just saw it was Adderral. Guess he likes to party at night and use it to go during day like our old friend Talib. Lol. To people with ADD it calms them (my son). With normal people it’s basically speed. Can’t picture needing rehab for that. It’s what’s he’s using the Aderral for (drugs alcohol) that likely needs rehab from. Crazy. Might explain the injuries to a degree. Lot guys say it’s just bad luck with injuries and lot times it is. It’s also from not conditioning and partying too much (ASJ)…..
I’ve never heard of anyone seeking treatment or checking into rehab for steroid use. Were PED’s one of the reasons he’s getting a suspension, or were other drugs like cocaine or pot the reason he’s going into rehab?
Great question! Koetter still benched Martin for a game that was basically a win and your in the playoffs type of game. The Bucs had nothing to gain by benching him. The only explanation for both the benching and Martin stating he needs to enter rehab, is that there is a more serious drug involved and not just PEDs.
Sucks for Martin. If you guys are right and the ‘guaranteed’ part of the contract just got voided, then he just lost a bunch of money. There is no way the Bucs keep him after the lack luster season he just had. Although on the bright side, the Bucs just got an extra 7 million in cap space.
Another thought, I think we all just figured out one of the main reasons that the Bucs were not very successful at running the ball like they were last year
It’s not necessarily true that the Bucs will cut Martin, but given that his 2017 pay is no longer guaranteed, the Bucs can either pay him, cut him, or renegotiate his contract to a lower number. It puts the onus on the Bucs to decide what to do.
If he wants to resign with the Bucs after they release him, then you won’t hear any complaints from me. But I think we both agree that there is no way he is playing for the Bucs next year under his current contract for $7 million
Agreed – he is not worth that much to the Bucs under current conditions where he will miss at least three games due to the suspension, and his ability to play obviously is in serious question.
The Bucs are certainly in a position to offer much less but with performance-based enhancements that could get Martin up to the $7M figure adjusted for game checks lost due to the suspension or any other reason, such as injury. If he were 100% for 13 games that would come to $5.68M, but less if he continues to miss games due to injury. Normally that wouldn’t be the case with an otherwise guaranteed contract, but Martin effed up and lost trust due to his PED violation. Martin could of course refuse such a contract mod, but then testing the market coming off a bad year plus a PED violaion, his market value is going to be way less than $7M … probably lucky to get a guarantee of much of anything now.
I’d bet my Bucs jersey it’s for pain killers. He’s been battling injuries. Aderol is what they all say because it sounds harmless. I hope he does get help if it’s pain killers because those things can be very nasty to kick.
The reveal on this was not handled well by the Bucs. They left Martin’s teammates in the dark on what was happening which is a buzz kill in any lockerroom. Once the letter was issued by the league to Martin, it should have been made public immediately. The fact that Martin wanted to think about whether he accept the suspension or challenge it should have been aside from the fact of his bust.
Contrast this to how matters were handled last year in the Kwon Alexander case. Kwon had the same choice to make, thought about it a couple of days as I recall, and elected not to challenge the suspension. His teammates were all fully aware as were the fans.
Keeping everyone in the dark was a mistake that tends to promote distrust.
You really believe the players, his team mates didn’t know what was going on? We the public didn’t know what was happening. Koetter took heat from us to protect Martin’s privacy, that was the right way to handle this. Koetter gained the trust, and respect from his players more so from this. Martin’s suspension is totally different from Kwon’s. One made a mistake with a sports drink, the other has a drug problem requiring rehab. Sorry you were kept in the dark, now do you see the light?
Well, unless you believe his teammates including Jameis Winston and Mike Evans are abject liars when they said they had no idea what was going on with Martin – I don’t believe that for a microsecond – then this was indeed kept from all his teammates. Ingesting PEDs like adderall isn’t something that is obvious to anybody, which is why the league has to use drug tests to expose the abuse. There’s no tracks on his arms, glazed over eyes, or weird behavior associated with ingesting adderall that would constitute an obvious “tell”.
Of course they are going to say they didn’t know. What are they going to say, yeah we knew Doug failed a piss test? It’s not their place to say so they are keeping things close to the chest. I can guarantee you they knew why Doug was sitting last week. To think other wise would be pretty gullible. That doesn’t make them liars, they just don’t want to compound the situation.
Of course they aren’t going to lie. Why would you think otherwise?
And why on earth would other teammates be privy to Doug Martin’s drug test results unless either he or the team told them?
If they don’t want to “compound the situation” they simply say “no comment”. But no, they said specifically “I don’t know”.
If you say that you don’t know, and it’s not true, then saying that makes you a liar.
Yeah, I know in this era it seems that a lot of folks demand to have their very own personal sets of facts, rather than just their own opinion, but no, this is not yet the “post-truth era” where truth no longer matters. The truth does matter.
I’d have to agree with you surfer. The Bucs handlers this very well. For one , I guarantee every buc player knew about this. For two koetter did the right thing not throwing Doug under the bus and letting him make a statement. Coach will gain much respect from his players for he way he handled it.
BS – the Bucs handled it extremely poorly, and I guarantee the other players didn’t know anything unless either Doug told them or the coaches told them.
It amazes me that you think it’s normal to flat out lie, and say things that simply aren’t true because, well, just because. That’s nuts.
WTH? So, nothing but the truth, the whole truth & nothing but the truth ever comes out of your mouth? I call BS, Naplesfan.
Until it was officially announced, the reasons for Martin’s status was nobody’s business but his and the team’s. This is not a government org, it’s a private business. Who cares who knew what, or when? This is not Watergate, it’s one players embarrassing, private struggle with substance abuse.
For a coach to say, “I don’t know” instead of “No comment” is just a device to get the media to stop asking a question that is not going to get answered anyway. You seem to equate it with…Bill Clinton saying “I did not have sex with that woman!”
Lighten up, Francis!
The instant Martin was suspended four games by the league for violation of the PED rule, it was no longer Martin’s business, it was the business of the entire public including all fans, the media, and most especially his teammates.
Oh ok I get it, so when anything bad happens to you Naples, I want you to post it on here so we can all see. Since you are all for knowing everyone’s business just please post yours. And don’t lie about it, I want to know everything. Here’s a crazy idea, maybe Doug didn’t want anyone to know. But I digress, I’ll get a letter to Koetter and tell him that YOU must be notified of everything going on with the team from now on.
No – you’re simply spouting based on exactly nothing but how you think things are, maybe how you live your own life, where truth is just an inconvenience to work around, right?
By the way, the following is a quote from Jenna Laine’s post on ESPN.com:
“”Nobody knew,” offensive lineman Evan Smith said. “Nobody is mad at Doug. We don’t want anybody to fall on hard times, and if they do, that’s kind of a big part of the locker room — we’re a big brotherhood and we all pick each other up.”
Martin, a Pro Bowl selection last season, is not with the team as he seeks help and serves a four-game suspension for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs.
What now for the Bucs following Doug Martin’s suspension?
The Bucs could cut Doug Martin without penalty, but they may give him a second chance. They still likely will look for a RB in a loaded draft.
“It definitely came as a surprise … [It’s been] very, very hard. It’s an unfortunate situation,” wide receiver Russell Shepard said. “We just wish him well, [to] get himself together — whatever he needs, just to take his time. We love Doug. [He’s] a great person, a great teammate. We just wish him the best and hope everything works out for the better.”
Said tight end Brandon Myers: “We were just like everybody else. We didn’t know what was going on. We were surprised. But we support him, that’s for sure.”
Finally jp414 brings some sense to the ridiculous back and forth “who knew what and when” tiff between cgmaster and naples (who believes he knows everything and guarantees it) regarding the Doug Martin situation. Fact is, none of us know anything except the tidbits of what is made public. Blaming the organization for the way they limited the release of private information to the public and/or players based on Naples’ pure speculation is just a bit unfair.
What teammates said was that they weren’t aware of Doug being made inactive for the Saints game. They may well have known or gotten wind of the notice of the failed drug test.
So Naples knows nothing of what was said or done inside the palace walls, but is the first to demean it to refrain from blaming the player who actually committed the offense in the first place. Wow!
Let me get this straight. Player gets paid more $ than nearly every one of his teammates and coaches. Makes the conscious decision to take an as yet unknown banned substance without regard for his commitment to the organization. Over the course of the season contributes nothing that even remotely matches his compensation. Gets found out and per the norm, then and only then, expresses regret and makes a promise to get the help he never sought before he got nabbed. Yet none of that matters to Naples who thinks the real culprit is the organization not being as forthcoming with private information as he demands.
How about this statement? “It’s none of your business!”
You’re really full of yourself Scubog. Really.
Just read the direct quotes from numerous players that they had no idea what was going on with Martin. Not a single player has indicated or said he knew anything .. 100% said they had no knowledge.
I am not criticizing anyone here but the team officials including coaches who kept a league-imposed suspension secret from everyone, including the other players and the fans .. and the fans here who think it is perfectly fine to be deceptive, and who claim that players routinely lie about what they know or don’t know, based upon nothing but the fact that they believe it’s OK to lie all the time and that the truth does not matter.
I don’t claim to know anything but what is reported in the media through direct quotes from direct interviews with named players on the team.
On the other hand, you and Cg claim to know what the other players knew, and claim to know that they’re just lying to cover up something that they knew all along.
Just who is doing the bullshitting here? I think it’s you guys, quite obviously.
Who cares if the team withheld information until more was known or reached the point of needing to make it public? Your intent on placing blame on the organization instead of the rules violator is baffling. I suspect your real intent is to prove another poster (CG) wrong. now can add you to my list of people who are never wrong. Naples, BF-47, Fonzie and my mother in law)
I’m not full of myself any more than you are of yourself Naples. I just don’t intend to bow down to your perceived superior knowledge of situations where you don’t know any more than anyone else. Your perceptions don’t make them facts. I claimed absolutely nothing because, like you, we really have no idea except what is reported.
I presume you are aware that Martin wasn’t suspended for the Saints game; but Koeter benched him for reasons unknown. Tomorrow’s game starts his 4 game suspension.
At this point we should all just hope that the player does indeed seek the help he admits he needs.
And quite the contrary, it IS my business, and the business of the public, and of every fan, to know when the NFL formally suspends a starting player on any team in the league for a violation of its PED rule.
This isn’t a matter of Doug Martin’s personal life – it directly affects the entire team and its fans. He’s not entitled to secrecy when he violates a rule that is one of the most important rules in any sport, i.e., when he deliberately uses performance enhancing drugs. PEDs are the scourge of many sports, from MLB to Olympic sports to football.
OK, so there’s no winning this argument? I’ll agree with you there, Naples. I will also admit that when I am wrong, I am loathe to admit it, especially in a forum as public as this one.
What this all boils down to is…how OK are you with current state of the media in reporting everything a public person does? Are paparazzi justified when they stick cameras up every orifice of a public person to satisfy the demands of JQ Public, who wants to know how firm or runny their chosen celebrity’s last bowel movement was? Do you realize what kind of hell that unleashes on them?
And before you say, “OK, but they let themselves in for that when they became a public person, along with the fame and huge money comes some unfortunate consequences.” I say most do not anticipate this kind of thing, and many do not get huge money. Some (reality TV stars) thrive off it, but most just want to make a living doing what they love to do (Martin, however DID make a lot of money by becoming a public person, and now may LOSE a lot of it by doing what he did).
In this case, we are just talking about facts that Martin and the team knew would come to light, anyway, and you are just objecting to the timing, so even though Martin knew this would come out, you would take away his chance to get friends and loved ones prepared for it, just because ‘enquiring minds want to know…NOW!’
How about the possibility that the team just wanted to give him a short break, to take care of personal business before the sh** hit the fan?
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