Bucs decline Martin’s contract option: What this means for Charles Sims


News broke on Monday that that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers chose not to pick up running back Doug Martin’s fifth-year option.

Martin in his first season in Tampa Bay seemed to be the future back of a struggling Bucs’ team. He rushed 1,454-yards and 11 touchdowns in his rookie season. After that season, however, Martin saw a steady decline and failed to rush for 1,000-yards in both 2013 and 2014. A shoulder injury hindered the back as he missed significant time in 2013.

According to Joel Corry of CBS Sports Tampa Bay would have had to of paid Martin to the tune of $5.621 million in 2016.

But, what is Martin’s loss is considered West Virginia running back Charles Sims’ gain.

Sims was drafted in the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Buccaneers. Since being drafted he’s amassed just 185-yards and one touchdown. Sims was primarily a backup to what was perceived to be star running back Martin, but with his slump, Sims could be the Bucs’ new featured back.

Sims has the ability in not only the ground game, but the passing game too. He was a utility player for West Virginia and he could be just that for Tampa Bay as well.

Dec 21, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Charles Sims (34) runs with the ball as the Green Bay Packers beat the Buccaneers 20-3 at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

This will only be Sims’ second season in the NFL and still has a lot of time to grow. If he were given the chance to be the Bucs starting running back next season he would see his stock increase from the word go.

The other running back in which Sims would have to compete for the starting job is Bobby Rainey. Rainey in 2014 muscled up 94 carries for 406-yards and one rushing touchdown. He also had one receiving touchdown .

This will be Rainey’s fourth season in the pros and that perhaps gives him a slight edge over the younger Sims, but based on his numbers from last season, the second-year Sims’ numbers aren’t that far off and he could easily give Rainey a run for his money.

It seems likely that the Bucs will look to trade Martin before the start of the regular season. Whether they will trade for a running back to fill his shoes, or stick with the likes of Sims and Rainey is unknown, but both Sims and Rainey seem just as good as replacements than some other back on the market.

When it’s all said and done and Rainey happens to get the nod over Sims, Sims could still be a useful weapon with everything he’s able to do in both the running game and passing attack.

Sims will have to work for it, but it wouldn’t come as a shock to see Sims take over as the Bucs premiere running back.