Buccaneers running back Doug Martin has a lot of goals for the 2015 season, including one that might surprise you.
“The name ‘Muscle Hamster’ is the worst nickname possibly ever given to somebody,” Martin told Tom Pelissero of USA Today Sports. “I hope it changes, and I hope that I play to a level where my nickname changes. That’s what my goals are.”
As Martin gets to work on that, let’s check out more from the NFC South..
- Falcons star Julio Jones says he won’t be holding out to get a better deal like Dez Bryant and Demaryius Thomas, ESPN.com’s Vaughn McClure writes. “[Agent] Jimmy Sexton, he’s going to negotiate that with [general manager] Thomas [Dimitroff] and [Falcons owner] Mr. [Arthur] Blank. That’s the side they handle. My side, I’ve got to handle on the football field. I’ve got to keep showing up every day and putting in work,” Jones said. Atlanta picked up Jones’ fifth-year option, meaning that he’ll earn $10.2MM for 2015. The Falcons will have the option of slapping him with the franchise tag in 2016 if they don’t work out a new deal. If that happens, it wouldn’t be shocking to see Jones’ position change a bit.
- The movie “The Blind Side” made Michael Oher a household name but the Panthers offensive tackle believes that the film has had an adverse affect on his career, ESPN.com’s David Newton writes. “I’m not trying to prove anything,” Oher said. “People look at me, and they take things away from me because of a movie. They don’t really see the skills and the kind of player I am. That’s why I get downgraded so much, because of something off the field. This stuff, calling me a bust, people saying if I can play or not … that has nothing to do with football. It’s something else off the field. That’s why I don’t like that movie.” Unable to live up to his first round billing, the Ravens released Oher this offseason, leading him to hook on with Carolina.
- Kevin Williams will earn a base salary of $1MM with a $500K signing bonus on his deal with the Saints, according to Tom Pelissero of USA Today (on Twitter). He can earn another $600K through playing time incentives. In 2014, the former first-round pick ranked in the middle of the pack among defensive tackles, according to Pro Football Focus’ data (subscription required). PFF’s grades placed Williams 40th out of 81 qualified DTs, as he finished the season with 38 tackles and three sacks.