The Tampa Bay Buccaneers like Doug Martin, or so they say, but they’re also looking at different running backs. Head coach Dirk Koetter spoke to the media at the owners’ meetings today, and shared a few thoughts on running backs—including free agent Adrian Peterson.
JoeBucsFan noted that Koetter had a “huge grin on his face” when asked about Peterson working out with Jameis Winston, and said he was eager to talk to Jameis Winston about Peterson. I would still be surprised if Peterson ended up a Buc, though stranger things have happened.
For now, though, the Bucs first have to deal with Doug Martin, who’s suspended for the first three games of the season and coming off a terrible season. Koetter said he’s a fan of the veteran running back, but wouldn’t really commit to him — and hinted that things are not quite straightforward.
Koetter "I'm a Doug Martin fan but when you know you're not gonna have him for 3 weeks, how do you do the reps?" No decision been made— Rick Stroud (@NFLSTROUD) March 29, 2017
Making matters more complicated is the 2017 NFL draft, which is very deep at the running back position. Koetter said that they’d have to at least consider taking a back in the draft, according to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times.
None of that is particularly new, of course. The Bucs have been unclear about their plans for Martin for months, and have repeatedly said they don’t need to make a decision yet. That’s not quite true, though: if they use a high draft pick on a running back, they’re implicitly making a decision. We’ll see if that’s what happens.