In an article written by Vinnie Iyer of Sporting News, Iyer speculated that it may be the end of the road for Doug Martin with Tampa Bay, stating, ’Martin’s hot-and-cold relationship with Dirk Koetter will end with the RB’s release at age 29. The Bucs were disappointed with his play post-suspension, and they’ll move on with Peyton Barber and/or others in the backfield.’
Even though Martin still has 3 more years and $20.7 million left of his five-year, $35.7 million contract, the Buccaneers could decide to part ways in the off-season considering the $6.7 million in 2018 is not guaranteed, making it a clean break if the Bucs end up going that route.
This speculation comes after a rocky season for Martin, in which he had to sit out the first four games of the season due to a violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy after he tested positive for Adderall. Upon his return to the field, there was an obvious drop in performance from Martin, that marked a career low of 406 rushing yards, and tying a career worst of 2.9 yards per carry in the 11 games played; despite his impressive performance during his first game back after suspension in which he looked productive, and even scored a touchdown.
With all the rumors swirling around Martins possible departure from the team, it increases the speculation to who will fill his position. This could lead to Peyton Barbers first chance as a full time starter, if the Buccaneers choose to part ways with Martin.