The Facts: During an interview with Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times about what went wrong during the 2017 season, GM Jason Licht touched on the team's 27th-ranked rushing attack. Licht wasn't shy about pointing the finger in the direction of Martin, who missed the first three games while serving a suspension and returned to average 2.9 yards per carry. "I think the lack of, or having a hard time getting the run game going was. ... You know, Doug just didn't have. ... He just wasn't ever the same," Licht said.
Diehards Line: Licht added: “And it wasn’t until late that Peyton [Barber] kind of arrived and things started going a little bit better with him, starting with the Green Bay game and on and on.” The Green Bay game came in Week 13 and touched off a run that saw the Bucs run for at least 110 yards in three of their final five games. They did that in two of the three games that Martin, who was also suspended for a game by the team in December, missed to start the year as well, which suggests the Bucs might have been unwise to keep Martin as their lead back for as long as they did. Martin averaged 2.9 yards per carry in 2016 as well and he’s set to make a non-guaranteed salary of $6.75 million in 2018, all of which adds up to ample reason for the team to move on to a new look in the backfield.