The Buccaneers have agreed to re-sign running back Doug Martin, according to Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune (Twitter link). It’s a five-year deal, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link), and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link) says that it’s worth $35.75MM in total, with a max value of $42.5MM (Twitter link). Martin will pocket $15MM in full guarantees, per Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports (Twitter link).
Just last night, reports indicated that although Martin and Tampa Bay were close to reaching a new agreement, details still needed to be hammered out. That report pointed to a yearly value of $6.85MM for Martin, so his representatives were clearly able to negotiate a bit more money over the past twelve hours or so. Martin will average $7.15MM annually, good for eighth among running backs.
As many as six teams — including the 49ers, Raiders, and Texans — had reportedly expressed in Martin, and with reports earlier this week indicating that talks between Martin and the Bucs had broken down, it looked like Martin might be finding a new landing spot. But the two sides have come to together at the 11th hour, reaching a new deal just prior to the start of the free agent period.
Tampa Bay could have controlled Martin for the 2016 season by exercising his fifth-year option — they declined to do, so Martin hit free agency in 2016 instead of 2017. If the club wanted to use the declined option as something of a motivational tactic, it worked, as Martin enjoyed his best season since his rookie year, rushing for more than 1,400 yards, scoring six times, and adding 33 reception and another touchdown for good measure.
PFR ranked Martin as the No. 13 free agent, and the No. 1 available running back. Other RBs still on the market include Lamar Miller and Matt Forte, while Chris Ivory has already agreed to a new deal with the Jaguars.
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