After his 1,402-yard season in 2015, Doug Martin appeared to be in good standing with the Buccaneers. He signed a five-year, $35.75 million deal in March, effectively keeping him in Tampa Bay for the foreseeable future. However, after his recent struggles, his roster spot may not be as guaranteed as it once seemed.
Martin was a healthy scratch in the Buccaneers’ Week 16 game against the Saints – the first time in his career he was benched. He called it a coach’s decision with Dirk Koetter saying Jacquizz Rodgers was a better fit for the game.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, Martin will be inactive once again in Week 17. In turn, the Buccaneers plan to sign Russell Hansborough from the practice squad to fill his spot on the game-day roster.
Martin has undoubtedly struggled mightily this season, averaging just 2.9 yards per carry. That’s down from 4.9 a year ago, and it’s a big reason for Koetter’s decision to bench him. If he continues to struggle into 2017, his future with the team could certainly be in limbo. After next season, the Buccaneers won’t incur any dead money by parting ways with Martin.