On Monday, Doug Martin began team workouts. In December, Martin violated the NFL’s substance abuse policy. He then admitted himself to a rehab facility, from which he was released in February. While he is attending team workouts, Martin still faces a three game suspension. Martin’s suspension gives the Buccaneers the option to terminate his contract, which lasts through 2020. Releasing Martin now would free over 5.7 million dollars in cap room. The Buccaneers’ GM, Jason Licht said: “He looks, right now, as good as I’ve seen him since I’ve been here from a physical standpoint. Seemed to be in very good spirits. Excited to have him. Excited to see how he does out here in OTAs” (Fox Sports). While Martin’s spot on the Buccaneers is far from guaranteed, Licht’s optimism and Martin’s attending workouts are an indicator that Martin might return to the team in 2017.
If Martin returns to the Buccaneers in 2017, Martin’s role in the backfield will depend on how Charles Sims, his backup, performs in his absence. It will also be affected by whether or not the Buccaneers select a running back in the NFL Draft. In fact, if the Bucs take a running back in the first or second round, Doug Martin can be safely dropped in most formats. Despite the uncertainty regarding his status next season, Martin has the upside to eventually become an RB2 and should be rostered in most leagues, at least until the NFL Draft. If he is available in any keeper leagues, he is not worth using a high waiver spot, but is worth a free agent pickup.