Bucs talks with Martin on a new deal 'purely preliminary'
The Bucs have made no secret that they would like to re-sign running back Doug Martin, who enters today's game as the NFL's second-leading rusher with 1,354 yards and six touchdowns.
Martin will become a free agent after today's game due to the Bucs' decision not to pick up his fifth-year option at $5.6-million.
General manager Jason Licht has engaged in some talks with Martin's agent but described them as 'purely preliminary.' Martin has a home in Tampa and has repeatedly said he wants to remain in Tampa Bay.
The Bucs are unlikely to place the franchise tag on Martin, which would cost them north of $11-million on a one-year deal. Martin trails the Vikings Adrian Peterson for the rushing lead by 64 yards. A year ago, the Cowboys' DeMarco Murray won the rushing title and signed a five-year, $40-million contract with Philadelphia that the Eagles likely regret.
These are complicated deals that normally go to the deadline, which will be March 15 when the free agent signing period begins. Until March 12, the Bucs are the only team that can formally negotiate with Martin.