Running back Doug Martin has signed a new five-year contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The deal will pay the 27-year-old $35.75 million, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. Martin was a first-round pick by the Buccaneers in 2012 and after two down seasons, he bounced back in 2015.
Martin missed 15 games from 2013-14, but he played in all 16 last season and carried the Buccaneers' running game with 288 carries for 1,402 yards and six touchdowns. He did have four fumbles, which is his biggest concern at this point, but he overcame a couple injury-ridden seasons to look like the same player who broke out as a rookie.
In 2012, Martin had 319 carries for 1,454 yards and 11 touchdowns. He didn't reach those numbers this year, but the Buccaneers as a whole are a team in transition with first overall pick Jameis Winston getting the starting quarterback job last season. Many felt that the team would tag Martin to keep the young pairing of Martin and Winston together to make each other better.
Behind Martin, the Buccaneers have a capable backup in Charles Sims, who rushed for 529 yards last season, matching Martin's per-carry average of 4.9 yards. But Martin looked like the game-changing player the Buccaneers needed, and bringing him back was always a priority. He almost certainly would have landed a similar big deal on the open market, but the Buccaneers got this deal done just hours before the new league year got underway.
Martin was second in the NFL in yardage this past year, trailing Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings by just 83 yards. He was named to his second Pro Bowl and was a first-team All-Pro player as well.