It’s now all starting to make sense. Shortly after it was reported that Doug Martin was leaving the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for personal reasons, said departure could have to do with the fact that he’s apparently been suspended four games by the NFL.
Bucs RB Doug Martin failed a drug test and is being suspended four games starting now, per league sources.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 28, 2016
As Schefter notes, the suspension comes after Martin allegedly failed a drug test.
Martin, a Pro Bowl performer last season, was a healthy inactive for the Buccaneers’ Week 16 loss to the New Orleans Saints. He was also expected to be a healthy scratch for the team’s season finale against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday (more on that here).
This pretty much brings everything together. There were serious questions about why Martin fell out of favor with the Buccaneers shortly after signing a long-term extension during the offseason. We now know why.
Martin himself released a statement.
“I sincerely apologize to the Glazer family, General Manager Jason Licht and the entire Tampa Bay organization, my teammates and our tremendous fans,” the running back said, via the team’s official website. “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.”
It remains to be seen whether Martin will be back with Tampa Bay next season.