The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have released Doug Martin and Chris Baker. Both of these players were supposed to be major players in the 2017 season. Martin was coming off of his PED suspension. He looked great in the preseason, but just couldn’t get it going in 2017 once the regular season started. Baker was supposed to come in and dominate the defensive front with Gerald McCoy, but Baker couldn’t stay healthy and was awful in 2017.
When the Buccaneers drafted Doug Martin in 2012, he was a highly touted running back out of Boise State. In his rookie season, Martin rushed for 1,200 yards and made 11 touchdowns. He acquired the nickname “Muscle Hamster.” The next two seasons, Martin combined for 3 touchdowns and 1,000 yards. In 2015, the Muscle Hamster made his return and rushed for 1,400 yards with 6 touchdowns. The past two seasons were pathetic for Martin. Injuries and a positive PED test will be what Martin is remembered for in Tampa, unfortunately. Tampa Bay hoped that Martin would be the leader in a crowded backfield. The Buccaneers are now in the market for a running back.
After the 2016 season the Buccaneers went free agent crazy. One of the big fish they reeled in was defensive tackle Chris Baker. McCoy and Baker dominated the defensive line during Hard Knocks and the preseason, but as the regular season approached, Baker couldn’t stay healthy. Baker battled through knee issues and illness throughout the year. Baker is out after only one season in Tampa. Who will Tampa get to be the Robin to McCoy’s Batman?
Tampa Bay will look to contend for a playoff spot in 2018. These moves were crucial in Tampa Bay getting over the hump in the division. The release of Martin and Baker frees up cap space for the Buccaneers to sign key players like, Jameis Winston and Mike Evans. We will all wait with anticipation to see what the future holds for our Buccaneers.
Edited by Morgan Adele