The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will re-sign running back Doug Martin after he tested the market during the NFL's legal tampering period. According to Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune, the two sides have agreed to terms. That was swiftly confirmed by Rick Stroud.
It's a five-year deal worth $35 million, according to Rick Stroud. That puts Martin just below the second tier of NFL running backs, who generally get $8 million per year. Apparently no one wanted to pony up big money for the 27-year-old's services.
More on #Bucs RB Doug Martin's 5-year, $35.75M deal: $15M guaranteed and $7.25 average over three years. Max value of the deal is $42.5M— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 9, 2016
Both Martin and the Bucs wanted to see him return to Tampa, but the team wasn't willing to meet his demands and allowed him to test the market first. Apparently, Martin didn't find anything to his liking and decided to accept the Bucs' initially unsatisfactory contract terms.
Martin was the NFL's second-leading rusher last year, with 1,402 rushing yards on 288 carries for an impressive 4.9 yards per carry. As he did as a rookie in 2012, he played like a true foundation back -- the kind of player you can build a running game around. The Bucs will hope that that's the player they re-signed, and not the one who struggled with injury and mediocre play in 2013 and 2014. Still, if he does, the Bucs are only out some money and cap space -- and they have plenty of that.
While Martin should be the team's primary back, he'll be complemented by Charles Sims, who put up over 1,000 yards from scrimmage next to Martin last year. Sims will be the primary receiving back, as well as a change-of-pace rusher with more explosiveness than Martin -- but also less reliability between the tackles.
In all, the Bucs offense is set to be an impressive one in 2016. With Jameis Winston going into his second year, Doug Martin and Charles Sims carrying the running game, and Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson as the primary receivers, there's no shortage of talent on the team.