Tampa Bay Buccaneers started the offseason with making roster cuts. The team has announced on Tuesday that they have released running back Doug Martin and defensive tackle Chris Baker. Martin signed a five-year, $35.75 million contract extension with the Buccaneers in 2016 and was owed $7 million in the upcoming season. Baker was entering his second year of the three-year deal worth $15.75 million.
Doug Martin, former first-round draft pick, and two times Pro-Bowler had a great season in 2015 rushing for 1,402 yards which eventually got him the contract extension. His production dropped in the last two seasons, however, and he managed to average just 2.9 yards per carry.
“I want to thank the Glazer family, Jason Licht, Coach Koetter, Coach Schiano, Mark Dominik, and the Tampa Bay organization,” – Martin wrote on his Instagram account after finding out about the release. “You made my childhood dream of being an NFL player come to fruition when you drafted me and you afforded me financial independence when you awarded me my second contract. I am grateful for the impact you have had on my life.“
Chris Baker also had a disappointing performance in the last season. He joined the Buccaneers from the Washington Redskins in 2017 and supposed to be an improvement over Clinton McDonald on the position of defensive tackle. He ended up managing just 33 tackles, 0.5 sacks and two passes defended which eventually led to his release.
“I am thankful to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Organization, Glazer Family, Coach Koetter, and GM Jason Licht for the opportunity last season.” – said Baker. “I am looking forward to the next chapter in my career. I am thankful for the chance to continue to follow my dreams. God always has a plan.“