After a stellar rookie season, things have gone downhill for Doug Martin, who is now on the trading block for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who will probably go with Charles Sims as their lead running back next season.
Martin won’t see his fifth year option picked up by the Buccaneers, who are actively trying to shop him, but had no such success on the nights before and during the NFL draft. He has a deal for 2015, but it’s unlikely that he’ll play for the Bucs this season unless they find it really difficult to shop him off somewhere.
Martin ran for 1454 yards and 11 touchdowns during his rookie season, finishing fourth that year in all-purpose yards and making the Pro Bowl. Since then? Only 17 total games (just six in 2013), getting to 950 yards and averaging just 3.6 yards per carry, scoring only three touchdowns. Things change quickly in the NFL, but that’s always more true for running backs than anyone else.
Last season, with 494 yards, Martin was actually their leading rusher. That’s how bad things were for the Buccaneers, finishing with a 2-14 record on Lovie Smith’s first season, posting the fourth worst offense in the league Bobby Rainey was the only other player with over 400 rushing yards, while rookie Charles Sims ran for 185 yards on 66 carries.
However, Sims has shown enough practice away from the field as well to put himself on top of the list when it comes to the running back depth chart next season. The Bucs did take Joey Iosefa, who is more of a full back, as their 7th round selection with the draft. It doesn’t mean he’ll actually even take a single snap next season. It’s also hard to believe they’ll get anything more than a 7th rounder for Martin.