Buccaneers Do Not Pick Up Fifth-Year Option for Doug Martin

Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ running back Doug Martin, a first-round pick from the 2012 draft, will reportedly not have the fifth-year option on his contract picked up (via The Tampa Bay Times).

Martin put up excellent stats in his rookie year, then came crashing down to earth with the speed of a meteoroid during the next two seasons. Martin posted a remarkable 1,454 rushing yards, 11 touchdowns and averaged a solid 4.6 yards per attempt in 2012. This led most to believe the former Boise State standout was on the verge of becoming one of the best young running backs in the NFL.

Plagued by injuries his next two seasons, Martin failed to impress. He managed less than 1,000 total rushing yards and three touchdowns in the 17 games he played in 2013 and 2014 combined.

Martin earned the nickname “Muscle Hamster” after his stunning rookie season. Unfortunately, he now sits in a pile of running back busts from the 2012 season, including Trent Richardson and retired former New York Giant David Wilson.

This upcoming season is pivotal for Martin, who must prove his value before entering free agency. He will compete for carries with Mike James, Bobby Rainey and Charles Sims, all of whom could send him packing in relatively short order.

By declining Martin’s option, the Buccaneers will avoid paying him the $5.6 million he was set to earn under his rookie deal in 2016. So it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that the team made this decision.

Photo: USA Today Sports