Doug Martin is looking for a big payday and he could be the top running back target on the free agent market this offseason. The Buccaneers are going to try and keep Martin, but if he gets out on the open market, teams like the Dallas Cowboys, Miami Dolphins, NY Jets, Cleveland Browns and Houston Texans could be potential landings spots.
Martin reportedly is interested in signing back with the Buccaneers, but he also is looking to get out onto the open market this offseason. Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times reports that Martin will become a free agent and is "hoping to hit the jackpot" with a new contract. Martin is coming off of a strong season that saw him rush for 1402 yards, ranking second in the league behind Adrian Peterson. Martin dealt with injuries over the past two seasons after having a huge rookie season and now he could cash in as a free agent.
GM Jason Licht said to NFL.com that the team hs had "great discussions" with Martin and that the interest is "mutual" between the two sides. The Buccaneers could use the franchise tag on Martin if the team doesn't get a deal done and that would cost around $12 million for a one-year deal next season. Martin and Lamar Miller are expected to be the top two running back targets in free agency this winter and they could both cash in on deals.
Greg Auman at the Tampa Bay Times writes that it could take at least $7 million per year to keep Martin with the Buccaneers. Martin is 27 and he does not have as much wear and tear as other running backs his age after missing 15 games between 2013-14. Some teams might have concerns with Martin's injuries in the past, but he played in all 16 games this season and set a career high with 4.9 yards per carry. Martin broke out his rookie year, rushing for 1454 yards and 11 touchdowns along with 49 catches for 472 yards.
Martin could be targeted on the free agent market by teams like Cowboys, Giants, Jets, 49ers, Titans and Browns. The Bucs are ranked in the top 10 in potential salary cap space and that could put them in position to keep Martin. The Cowboys likely will address the position to add depth with darren McFadden, while the 49ers could be big spenders this offseason after hiring Chip Kelly.