About the author

Scott Reynolds

Scott Reynolds is in his 23rd 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 enjoys giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]

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  1. 1


    I miss the Chat Room. Scott this Fab 5 was so-so; I know others will disagree. Most of all of this was about back ups because that’s what all these players are that were mentioned. Martin should not be overpaid. McCoy was overpaid, but still found a way last year to play even with a broken hand. Way too Martin history of Martin and his injuries and there are quite a few. We definitely saw that he lost a step last year. I think the line improved so much that he did have plenty of holes to run through. Martin is worth 5 million and that’s it a year. We need another OL to be prepared to replace Mankins; Cherius and Doitson are fair and would love to see an up grade there. Safety’s are a disaster and I would draft one in the 4th or 5th round. What’s the status on all the player’s who were on IR. Are they now healthy? A breakdown would be nice. What’s your projection as to English, Bowers making it to camp?
    Go Bucs!

    1. 1.1


      Horse, I disagree about Martin. While he had some holes, he repeatedly made yardage after contact (I think he led the league), and juked tacklers out of their shoes. He’s worth 6 Million, but not 7 million.
      I agree about the chat room!!! Please bring it back PR. I don’t know what to do on Friday’s now. I agree that Martin lost a step. He didn’t have the finishing speed and was caught from behind too much. Our offense lacks speed as Evans was caught from behind too (when he held on to the ball.

      1. 1.1.1


        pay Martin!! There are over 1400 reasons to do so.he knows the system and protects well.

    2. 1.2


      Here’s a mind blowing concept; Guarantee Martin 12 million over 4 years and add performance incentives for each year that could earn him 7 million. If he gets the same amount of yardage he did this past year for the next four years; he’s worth 7 million. If he gets injured or performs poorly you’re only paying 3 million each year.

  2. 2


    I know a lot of you will disagree but if we lose Martin in FA and Elliot has a 4.3 forty then we should draft him. I know we have a lot bigger needs but this kid is a game changer. I watched him play his entire college career and he reminds me of A Peterson. We need to draft best player available and not need. With a 4.3, Elliot will be best player available at 9th pick. Elliot basically won Ohio state its national championship 2 years ago and almost won them another last year. He rushed for 1800 yds and 23 TDs last year alone. When Ohio state lost its 2nd string QB, Elliot took over and rushed for 220 yds and 2 TDs in 20 carries against Wisconson, 230 yds and 2 Tds in 20 carries against Alabama, and 246 yds and 4 TDs against Oregon. He avg 232 yds and 2.6 Tds against 3 of the top 10 teams in the nation in 2014 when they needed him most. The kid is a beast. We made the mistake years ago on passing on AP to draft G Adams because of position need. Dont make the same mistake again.

    1. 2.1


      Great point about AP and Gaines Adams. I forgot all about that but it’s a similar situation of taking need over BPA and what the results can be. They’re even the same positions we’re discussing: RB and DE. Well done.

  3. 3


    Good Fab 5 SR. Here are my thoughts:
    Fab 1: We shouldn’t overlook the BPA if that’s E. Elliott just because we badly need a pass rusher. Case in point, we needed a WR more much more than a DT two years ago so we took Evans over Donald. Two years later the Rams used Donald to beat us even though we had Evans. We don’t want the Giants or any other team drafting after us to take Elliott and beat us with him the next time we play that team. I agree A. Collins is a great RB, but I also agree with you that he’s not in the same class as D. Martin and E. Elliott. So the way I see it, if Elliott runs under a 4.5 in the 40 at combine (Dougie ran a 4.55), Elliott would make us a slightly better team, re-signing Dougie we would stay the same and with A. Collins we’d be slightly worse (although we would have managed the cap well I suppose). We’d be more well rounded if we took a pass rusher and Collins in a later round, but would we better overall if that pass rusher isn’t as good a player as Elliott? Personally I’d rather table this discussion until after the combine at least because I don’t truly know how fast Elliott is yet, along with many other players. I only factor the Combine about 5% or 10% in their total evaluation, but since in my mind many in this draft class haven’t really separated themselves from one another compared to other years how they do at the Combine may make more of a difference.
    Fab 2: I’d like to add R. Nelson via FA. I liked him coming out of UF and I don’t know why the Jaguars ever got rid of him. I also agree that safeties can play well deep into their 30’s. You forgot to mention J. Lynch :-).
    Fab 3: I doubt T. Benjamin would want to come here to be featured as a special teamer after being the #1 WR option this past season. I would think he’s looking to build on last season and follow Golden Tate’s career path: Sign with a team where he can be the #2 WR and get paid like one, still return kicks and possibly slide into the #1 spot if the featured #1 WR is frequently hurt (Megatron). I see the Ravens, Chargers or even staying put in Cleveland as more likely options.
    Fab 4: I remember watching Boykin at Georgia and the Eagles but I don’t feel that strongly about him one way or the other.
    Fab 5: The same goes for Schwartz. As for what you’re saying about S. Moore, that’s the only logical explanation for why they wouldn’t want to re-sign him. I don’t know if I agree with not bringing him back for that reason while giving other lousy CB’s another shot, but at least it makes sense on some level. I’d love to upgrade the FB position. The only guy I watched play that you mentioned was the younger Gronk, but to me he was not a great blocker, but a good and agile receiving option for the FB position. I’d rather have a FB that was a better run and pass blocker than receiver or runner.

    1. 3.1


      I think the young Watt may be both a runner/pass catcher and a run/pass blocker.

  4. 4


    I appreicated the article. There are a whole bunch of talent that could improved the team-go Bucs

  5. 5


    This Fab 5 doesn’t give us Bucs Fans much hope for the future let Martin walk if price isn’t right? I have heard posters claim its because of Stocker and the improvement of the line etc but that’s inaccurate, Martin breaks and bounces off tackles on a regular basis look at his yds after contact. Martin came off a couple of injuries that slowed his game down a bit for two seasons. The talk of getting a rb to replace Martin who is already a 1,400 rusher tells me why this organization consistently loses when they have that kind of game plan, to even mention over the hill rb’s a Chris Johnson who played well for 8 games last yr is again laughable. Let Sterling Moore go who was our best in the secondary? That makes sense! I could write a book on what’s wrong with the Bucs and the plan they have for the future, but I need to get back to work.

    1. 5.1


      Jon I can’t believe it , but I could not agree with you more! Keep Martin!! However, remember this is a team that let Michael Bennett walk off to the Seahags for nothing. I could write a 40 year history of what’s wrong with the Bucs. I won’t, but here is the skinny version. We have had stupid owners who hired stupid back office managements who hired stupid coaches (with a ew exceptions of course).

      1. 5.1.1


        I agree. For the bean counters to quibble over Martin’s salary is myopic and absurd when the Bucs have this much room under the cap. Martin isn’t just a quality starter or even a top 10 back, he’s the best running back in the league according to Pro Football Focus and the Associated Press. He’s the kind of special player you can’t expect to replace by just drafting someone or looking for a cheaper free agent who’s almost as good. Do the Bucs really think we wouldn’t notice that they’re skimping us at the same time they’re raising ticket prices? Do we really not deserve to have the best players in the league unless they come dirt cheap?

  6. 6


    Martin had a lot better year than Murry.

  7. 7


    Well I personally don’t mind seeing the Bucs let Dougie see his worth. He’s not worth 8 million a year period. Don’t care what he did last year, I look at the whole picture and he was terrible the previous two years.
    AS for drafting Elliot, I all for that if we trade back, but you do not draft a runningback in the top 10 unless he’s special. WHile Elliots stats are good, I’m just not big on read option running backs. I almost don’t like them as much as I dislike read option QB’s. How many of Elliot’s yards were from the DE leaving a gaping whole while diving at the QB?
    Running out of the read option and out of a pro offense is a little different.
    I am not saying Elliot isn’t good, just not worth a top 10 pick. Especially with next years class being that much better. I am all for Lamar Miller. Again as long as you don’t overpay, but he’s young and much faster than Doug.
    AT Safety, Conte played pretty well and a similar one year deal should be in order. Major write can hit the road with Jenkins. I mean if they are seriously considering Signing Jenkins again, they all need their collective heads examined. That guy shouldn’t be allowed within 20 miles of one buc place hes so terrible.
    Not sure why they don’t resign Sterling Moore, I think he played the best by far out of what we had last year, but if there was a chemistry thing going on, then so be it.
    I see a lot of guys looking to be cut, but we need depth as well so this should be an interesting off season. The Bucs NEED to be involved in free agency, I don’t care how bad our luck was. We have way too many holes to fill.

    1. 7.1


      Cg-Consider the fact Martin came off a ankle and shoulder injury in 2013 might have been reason for his low production

      1. 7.1.1


        Agreed Jon, but that’s the thing, he’s had to injury riddled seasons that made him about as useful as Stoker. haha Doug doesn’t block on third down because he’s not in there. I’m simply talking value here and a guy that is a 2 down guy is not worth 8 million a year. If they could get him at 6 I’m all for it, and give him some good guaranteed money with some incentives. I do love his after contact ability though as there was many times he created his own yardage last year. This is a tough one, but I guess with all of our cap room it shouldn’t be. Maybe I’m just splitting hairs here.

    2. 7.2


      A couple of his runs are from DE crashing but most runs are cut and go’s. Here are some highlights.

  8. 8


    With 50 mil under cap and by cutting Carter, Turner and EDS they will save 13 mil acc. to CBS Sports take that money and resign Martin who is a top 5 play at his position, remember Buffalo let Lynch walk see what happened?

  9. 9


    because we are so involved with the way the Bucs write their paychecks I ask this is 33 yr old injured most of last yr Wr Vincent Jackson worth 13 mil this yr? I bet if you say yes you will se why Martin is worth the contract

    1. 9.1


      You’re making some damn good points Jon and I can definitely see resigned Doug with these cuts being made. Although I’m not sure any of those guys will get cut, maybe Carter, but I don’t see them cutting EDS. I wish they would because the guy is terrible but they might keep him for depth.

  10. 10


    martin is not a speed back he gets caught from behind everytime, if he had real speed he would have scored against washington he is a good running back but is not speedy, 5 mil tops take it or leave it

    1. 10.1


      Stone1 your point is stupid and irrelevant who cares if he isn’t a speed back I can name 5 hall of fame Rb’s that weren’t the fastest guy, he is second in league in rushing and your saying well he isn’t a speed back? c’mon think before speaking, sigh

      1. 10.1.1


        the article called him a speed back buddy

  11. 11


    Losing Martin only makes sense if we draft Elliott or trade for Murray. I agree that Benjamin CAN bring what we hope Bell can. Make Bell earn his reps and ultimately prepare him to succeed VJ after this season. I think we should be targeting Mack the former Browns C not Schwartz. We have a perfectly fine RT on a cheap contract for one more season so upgrading C should be the bigger priority given the DTs that Carolina have. Agree Reggie Nelson should be a target given his price, talent and familiarity with FL weather. Add Fairley and Hardy to this list and we will have had quite the offseason.

    1. 11.1


      I wouldn’t touch Hardy. He has shown his inability to fit into a team concept. As for draft…..BPA…always. Never stretch for need.

  12. 12


    If we are not going to bring back Melton and McDaniel, I read somewhere that DC Mike Smith is said to prefer a big tackle at the nose. If that’s what he wants, then DT Damon “Snacks” Harrison, New York Jets, 26 is the guy! If this round mound of throw down makes it to FA, they should go after this guy because he’s a load – a nasty fast on his feet load.

    With O-Lines having to contend with Snacks up front, McCoy gets double digit sacks – guaranteed! Oh yeah, remember to keep lots of sandwiches handy, Snacks is 6-4, 350lbs and has justifiably earned his nicknamed. lol.


    1. 12.1


      Damn it mac I want him simply based on his nickname at this point.

  13. 13


    Bring back the CHAT ROOM!!!

    1. 13.1


      2nd that motion!!!

  14. 14


    Great SR5 Scott. Lot of insights and Alternative new Bucs to ponder. If we screw up and lose Martin I am partial to Zeke Eliot, being an OSU alum, but lets hope we sign Doug before we have to make those kind of decisions. Agree with Mac (as usual) Snack Harrison is a Beast and no doubt would add to McCoy’s sack total. Off subject, is Noah Spence a viable option??

    1. 14.1


      Just when I started to get comfortable with the notion of DE Noah Spence to the Bucs at 9, Cowboys DE Randy Gregory has been suspended for the first 4 games of 2016 for violating the NFL substance abuse policy. He has a history of pre-draft drug use as does Spence.
      I’m sure circumstances are different, But just the notion that this could happen gives me pause.
      I’ve not taken him off my mock board yet, but some analyst who had Spence going to the Bucs at 9 have now moved away (Jeremiah, Miller, Kiper, etc.). Will be interesting to see where PR is in their next mock!

  15. 15


    I like Martin. He hits it hard, finishes runs, protects well and his receiving has improved. But it’s not all about him. It’s about the ‘tandem back’ team he was part of that was tops in the league. And, with our QB play – combined with a returning OL that will be better, Martin is a big part of the whole – but a ‘part,’ not the whole. That makes him replaceable – would prefer not, but as the offence widens his role narrows. Pay him accordingly, but no more … we drafted him, put up with two years of underperformance, the occasional fumble and average speed. If there’s such a thing as hometown discount, the Bucs have earned it.

  16. 16


    Appreciate the feedback on Spence, Mac. It seems like he has become the flavor of the month since the Senior Bowl and Mayock’s endorsement. I’m always a bit leary when unknowns with baggage become instant contenders.

  17. 17


    I sure don’t want to let a Pro Bowl player hit the exit, creating another major need and then have to use a premium draft pick to replace what we already had. Us looking to find fault with #22 is almost as comical as listening to Patriots fans complaining that they were out-coached in the AFC Championship game.

  18. 18


    Should’ve picked up his 5th year, oh well. It’s actually not a bad idea drafting a back in the 1st, or 2nd round every 4, 5 years. With the rookie wage scale you’re getting a premium back relatively cheap for the best years of his career. Martins got four years of ware, 2 serious injuries already. Why pay him 8 mill a year, when you can get a younger, cheaper more explosive player in the 1st, or 2nd round, that’s cap friendly for the next 5 years? Not like running isn’t a game changing position. As other posters have pointed out, when Dougie breaks open, he’s usually caught from behind. He won’t be getting faster during his next deal.

  19. 19


    I have resisted commenting on the Doug Martin Issue because I’m ambivalent. Doug will sign with the Bucs or he will walk. The Bucs have good options and Doug will get the number he is looking for.

    Scott Reynolds has reported that Jason Licht will sit down with the player rep for Doug at next week’s Combine in Indy. Reynolds believes Martin wants a deal similar to the five-year, $42 million contract signed by RB DeMarco Murray last offseason. The Bucs would rather not overpay for Martin who has been inconsistent over his term with the Bucs. They have openly said that Martin won’t be getting the franchise tag and local beat writers think he’ll hit the open market.

    At that Combine meeting, my opinion is that Doug will sign to remain a Buc, but the Bucs will pay more than many of us expect. Three factors – the new HC wants him back, the Bucs have the money, and Doug wants to be here – grounds for a compromise. Some of my PR brethren think 7.5 to 8mil is too high. That may be so, but it’s not because of the Murray contract or comparison to any other RBs. It’s because the market has simply gone up.

    The NFL has signed contracts with the TV networks for Thursday night football, sold games in Mexico City and London, paid Goodell 34.1mil and is rife with new revenue. When that happens, the NFL is under contract by way of the 2011 CBA to share that revenue with the players.

    As a result, the franchise tags have gone up (11.5mil for RB), the Cap has gone up to 155 million and many NFL teams are rife with cap space – o ur Bucs have 49.3mil (OTC). So get ready for this Buc fans. The Bucs are not only going to have to pay Doug more, they’re going to have to pay every free agent we sign more!

    Even so, the Bucs do not have to pay what Doug wants. While the Bucs have 49.3mil, the Raiders have 74.2mil in cap space. They have said that RB Latavius Murray is not that guy and will be looking to replace him. And while Doug may love Tampa, he was born and raised in Oakland, California. They saw Doug in 2012 up close and may want to bring a prodigal son home and have the resources to easily make it happen!

    I’ve said all of this to say what. I’m ambivalent about Doug’s contract. The Bucs knew when they didn’t pick up the 5th year option that this might occur. Now it’s Show Time. The Bucs are way more aware of the value of the marketplace than anything I’ve said here. Both the Bucs and Doug now have to make a decision either of which I’m OK with!

  20. 20


    Don’t let anybody fool you; we have a Franchise QB; something we haven’t had since Doug williams. the priority now is to keep him protected and give him weapons to move down the field and score. We can find adequate RB’s to help and there is no need to panic and overpay a RB who has been injured more than 50% of the time. I want Doug to stay here, but not if it is going to disrupt the pay scale balance. Demarcus Murray got greedy and should have stayed in Dallas because if he bombs like he did last season he is cut. I thought Philly was crazy to pay him all that money and so did the owner since the Coach who had all the power was fired.

  21. 21


    Scubog, you and I see eye to eye on this and for the same reasons.
    Every time this team tries to get cheap with one of its quality players it smacks them right in the chops.
    We had a solid WR (can’t ever remember his name but he used to play with the Jags to) who was damn good but not great.
    We wouldn’t pay him and he eventually went to San Diego and it left us with a hole for years.
    Letting a top 5 RB walk out your door because you don’t want to pay him market value when you are lush with cap money is simply absurd.
    He might be overpaid this year but probably not the next and definitely not three years down the line.
    If it wasn’t for the NFLPA, these players would still be playing for 100K a year tops and the owners would still be crying about not making any money.

    1. 21.1


      drdneast: Are you thinking about Keenan McCardel? I don’t think the question of Martin signing here or elsewhere has anything to do with being frugal or fiscally irresponsible. It’s like the car show, “What’s my Player Worth? The market value will be set and that’s what teams will pay. I actually think the Bucs might be willing to pay # 22 more than what other teams would be willing to pony up. They all see the potential pitfalls of signing the Demarco Murrays and getting little in return. My opinion is that we have a chance to keep one of the better RB’s in the NFL on the roster without using a draft pick or taking a chance on another teams cast-off. I hope he doesn’t fall victim to the Curse of the Scubog Game Jersey. I already have a closet section full of player jerseys who were early departures.

  22. 22


    Funny, Horse, but John Elway was a franchse QB for years but never won a Super Bowl without a real good running back.
    Once the Broncos shut down the Panthers running attack, their “franchise” QB turned back into the sulking moron he always was.
    I don’t know who posted the remark about Marshawn Lynch, but he hit the target dead on.
    Fundamentals in football never change.

    1. 22.1


      drdneast; I’d like us to first accompolish a 9-7 season before the words super Bowl is even brought up. Market rate for a RB is also based on consistency based on 3-4 seasons.

  23. 23


    The problem with letting Martin walk is that it means we have another (make that: ANOTHER) hole to fill on this Swiss cheese team. Letting him go see his value and then making him a slightly better offer makes sense for both sides – it’s all about the guaranteed money anyway…just keep that limited.

  24. 24


    Thank you EastEndBoy. Exactly.
    Scudog, it was Keenan McCardell. Thanks. Never can remember his name for some reason.

  25. 25


    drdneast, I’m not saying we shouldn’t pay Martin his due; we just have different opinions of what that might be. He’s a good running back and 5 mil range is good enough. There’s some 24-25 other starting players at various positions, plus a dozen good backups that also need to be rewarded. The cap money goes faster than you might think. I’m for one always wanting to keep a small nest egg in case a very good player has a spout with his coach and we grab him for a low round draft pick or trade.

  26. 26


    Great article as usual. Thanks PR.

  27. 27


    The Martin thing will work itself out, and he will be a buc next year. I like the idea of Boykin as the nickel. I’ve liked him for a few years now. Think we need to keep Sterling Moore, but if there are some issues, then maybe he does need to go. Benjamin would be a nice slot wr, but I think a better one that no one is mentioning would be Percy Harvin. I know he comes with baggage, but he also comes with excellent playmaking ability and a cheap contract. Bucs please take a chance on him.

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