You won’t find many players with a weirder career arc than Doug Martin had with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Martin played six seasons with the Bucs, with two monster seasons and four awful ones. Martin is done with Tampa Bay as the team released him on Tuesday. Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times said the Buccaneers saved $6.75 million by cutting Martin. Given that salary figure, there was no chance Martin would be back.
Martin had two seasons in which he rushed for 1,400 yards and four in which he failed to top 500. He had an amazing rookie season, two incredibly bad seasons, was named All-Pro in 2015 after rushing for 1,402 yards with a 4.9-yard average, then had 827 yards in his final two Tampa Bay seasons combined.
Martin was a source of frustration most of his time with the Buccaneers, whose two big seasons allowed him to get a nice second contract. He was suspended for four games late in the 2016 season for failing the NFL’s drug policy, and he went to rehab. Tampa Bay stuck with him through the 2017 season. But the production on the field wasn’t worth keeping him around in 2018.
Martin could latch on elsewhere, because he’s just 29 years old and there’s the siren song of those two huge seasons in his past. But the Buccaneers weren’t going to hope for a career revival.
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