It sounds like the Bucs and running back Doug Martin are interested in staying together, as reports from ESPN say that discussions have started between the running back and the team.
While they are talking, ESPN says that nothing is imminent and it sounds like it’s going to be an ongoing situation as the team looks to retain Martin.
Here’s what ESPN says about the chat between the Bucs and Martin:
More substantial discussions regarding a new deal are not expected to take place until after the combine, according to Murphy. Martin has expressed a desire to remain with the team, while the Buccaneers have expressed a desire to re-sign the Pro Bowl running back before he hits free agency.
General manager Jason Licht updated the team’s stance when he addressed the media Wednesday.
“There are obstacles in a negotiation. We haven’t hit those obstacles yet,” Licht said. “But we’re going to talk and we’re going to try and get something done. And I feel pretty optimistic about it. Right now, there’s no reason to be nervous about that.”
Martin, who had a base salary of $1,315,572 this past season, did not have his fifth-year option of $5.6 million picked up last offseason. He went on to be the league’s second-leading rusher in 2015 with 1,402 yards, behind only Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson (1,485). The 27-year-old could cash in, with many of the top running backs making $7-8 million per year.
Martin had a great 2015 season, going for 87.6 yards per game with 1402 yards rushing and six touchdowns. In his career, Martin has run for a total of 3,806 yards and 20 touchdowns.