Doug Martin Re-Signs with Buccaneers: Contract Details, Comments and Reaction

Matt FitzgeraldCorrespondent IIIMarch 9, 2016

ST. LOUIS, MO - DECEMBER 17: Doug Martin #22 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers rushes in the third quarter  against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on December 17, 2015 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin was the NFL's second-leading rusher in 2015, and the team made sure its star ball-carrier didn't flee elsewhere in free agency on Wednesday.

The Buccaneers announced that they have re-signed Martin to a five-year deal.

Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune first reported the news. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported that the five-year deal is worth $35.75 million. According to Rapoport, the maximum value of the contract is $42.5 million with $15 million guaranteed and a $7.25 million average over three years. 

Martin made a statement regarding the news on Twitter: 

Vincent Jackson commented on his teammate's new contract:

Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell was happy for Martin:

After a magnificent rookie campaign, Martin has dealt with several injuries. Entering this past season in a contract year, he needed to prove himself to Tampa Bay and other potential free-agent suitors. He bounced back in a big way with 1,402 yards rushing and six touchdowns.

According to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, the 27-year-old was hoping to "hit the jackpot" on the open market, so Tampa Bay did well to pay him enough. What made his recent display and production all the more impressive was the fact that Martin was in a timeshare situation with Charles Sims.

Despite possessing pass-catching prowess and racking up 33 receptions on the year, Martin was often sidelined in favor of Sims during obvious passing downs.

The Bucs were wise to re-sign Martin, whose workload and yardage totals could have been even better in 2015. They saw his rookie-year explosiveness return, which justified the first-round draft pick that was used on him in 2012.

Entering his second year under center, Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston now has a stellar backfield to complement him. If Martin can maintain his 2015 form and Sims can continue to develop, the offense should operate at a high level for years to come.