On Wednesday, Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith said they have other running backs on the roster other than Doug Martin who can carry the load. I wrote a story on that saying there is a chance Martin will not return after 2015 but a slight chance that he does.
General manager Jason Licht hopes for the latter. He told Tom Pelissero of the USA Today that he hopes to be talking about an extension with Martin some time in the near future.
"I hit him right between the eyes and said, 'Hey, before you see this, we're not picking up your option, but this could be a good thing for you’,” Light told Pelissero about his discussion with Martin after deciding not to pick up his option. “This doesn't mean that we don't want you here long-term. It just means basically you have a carrot in front of you right now. Hopefully, we're sitting here in a few months talking about an extension.'"
Martin may need to have one heck of a start to the season in order for that to happen. But while Martin is in a “prove it” season of sorts, he also doesn’t have to agree to coming back to the Bucs if he holds any animosity towards the organization for not picking up his option.
His previous two seasons of disappointment undoubtedly have factored into his future with Tampa Bay. However, it sounds that Licht is still keeping his options open.
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