Lets face some facts: Doug Martin has been hurt MORE than he’s been a star Running Back. In 2012 and 2015, Martin was a fantasy beast. In 2013, 2014, and 2016 he was hurt and missed most of his time. Last years “Contract Year” season was supposed to end all of this, but instead 2016 turns out to be just another hurt year for Martin. Worse yet, his future as Bucs bell cow is done.
Martin took runs to the house in 2012, but he never did again, getting caught from behind has been his forte, and the Bucs need a successful running game if the passing game can work too. Jameis Winston in Play action has amazing numbers. THis isnt the first time the Bucs have had a promising running back go down the tubes because of injury; Cadillac Williams ran for over 100 yards in each of his first three games, something no other running back had ever done, and even beat an NFL record which is why his cleats are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
But the Bucs now have another offensive need going into next season; Running Back, a franchise back if you will to go along with Charles Sims complementary running style. The Bucs will look towards the bright side of this Doug Martin mess; his 7 million dollars guaranteed for 2017 went POOF Bye Bye. He will miss the first 4 games of 2017, so the Bucs who need to deal with Jacquize Rodgers free agency too, will need a running back for next year.
Of course they need a Wide Receiver to replace Vincent Jackson too. On the plus side, finding Cameron Brate gives the Bucs a playmaker at the TE position, and J. Rodgers ran hard in 2016 to show he can run the ball too. But Rodgers is a free agent, and has never been a franchise RB before. In addition to Safety, Corner, Running Back and Wide Receiver, the Bucs should also look for an update on Guard JR Sweezy who ended up making the ALL TUB team.
Tampa Bay will have to find a running back either in Free Agency or the upper rounds of the draft.