Doug Martin signs five-year deal with Bucs

  • By Gregg Rosenthal
  • Around The League editor
  • Published: June 4, 2012 at 10:45 a.m.
  • Updated: June 4, 2012 at 11:07 a.m

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers drafted Boise State running back Doug Martin late in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft to be their running back of the future. The future starts now.
The team announced Monday that Martin has signed a five-year contract. We expect him to be the Bucs' starter in Week 1 over incumbent LeGarrette Blount, despite Blount's comments throughout the offseason.
Twelve first-round draft picks are now under contract, and the back half of the round is signing quickly. (As Brian McIntyre writes, some specific language might be tripping up negotiations near the top of the draft.)

Martin was the most complete back in this year's draft, other than Trent Richardson (who went to the Cleveland Browns). Unlike Blount, Martin can excel in third-down situations. Blount seems likely to wind up in a short-yardage/backup role because Martin gives the Bucs coaches more flexibility.
Then again, both Martin and Blount should get their share of carries. New Bucs coach Greg Schiano has made it clear that the Bucs will be running early and often in 2012.