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:
Doug Martin @DougMartin22
Good to be back!!! https://t.co/BPrmAHvyxK2016-3-10 02:21:51
Vincent Jackson commented on his teammate's new contract:
Great move! Let's ride #DougieFresh! @DougMartin22 https://t.co/xnKyK52p3B2016-3-9 20:29:45
Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell was happy for Martin:
Le'Veon Bell @L_Bell26
congrats Dougggg 👏🏾👏🏾🙏🏾 https://t.co/wcJEot55Yn2016-3-9 19:36:46
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.