On the hot seat: Doug Martin

TAMPA, Fla. -- We continue our look at veteran Buccaneers who could be candidates for trade or release this offseason with running back Doug Martin.

Why he could be on the hot seat: Martin hasn’t been the same player he was when he rushed for over 1,400 yards as a rookie in 2012. He averaged only 3.7 yards per carry in 2014 and never got into any sort of rhythm. Martin was drafted by former general manager Mark Dominik and former coach Greg Schiano. The current regime doesn’t have deep ties to Martin, but they did draft Charles Sims last year. The coaching staff is very high on Sims, and that’s not good news for Martin. Throw in Bobby Rainey and Mike James, and the Bucs have a lot of depth in the backfield. That could make Martin a candidate for a trade. Despite his recent struggles, Martin still should have some trade value and probably could bring the Bucs a mid-round draft pick.

Why he could stay: Martin’s struggles last year were due in large part to poor blocking by the offensive line. He still is a talented running back, and coach Lovie Smith likes to have a lot of depth at that position. It is possible Martin sticks around and is used in a rotation with Sims. Martin is under contract for 2015, and the Bucs hold an option for 2016.