Martin, 28, was handed a four-game PED suspension near the tail end of the 2016 season, so he was able to serve one game of that ban last year. Because the Buccaneers’ Week 1 game was postponed due to weather concerns, Martin is just now finishing up his stay on the suspended list. The ban voided the remaining guarantees on Martin’s contract, and Tampa Bay hasn’t promised that Martin will reclaim his starting job when he returns.
But the Buccaneers’ rushing offense has faltered enough through three games that it’s difficult to imagine Martin not taking the bulk of the carries immediately. Jacquizz Rodgers, Peyton Barber, and Charles Sims have handled the ball for Tampa Bay so far, but the club ranks just 22nd in rushing DVOA and is averaging only 3.8 yards per carry.
Through five NFL seasons, Martin has posted only two campaigns that can be considered successful — 2012 and 2015, when he topped 1,400 yards rushing and scored 17 combined touchdowns. The rest of his pro years have been lackluster, as Martin wasn’t able to top even 500 yards in either 2013, 2014, or 2016. He’s signed through 2020, but the Buccaneers can get out of Martin’s contract at any time.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.