Award season has begun in the National Football League, and the first big honor for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was Doug Martin's placement on the Associated Press 2015 All-Pro team. That accolade was bestowed by a panel of writers; now the fans can take Martin take home another prestigious award.
On Friday, just hours after the All-Pro team was announced, the National Football League revealed its three finalist for the FedEx Ground Player of the Year. Martin made that short list as well, along with the Minnesota Vikings' Adrian Peterson and the St. Louis Rams' Todd Gurley.
The winner between those three nominees will be determined by an online fan vote conducted on NFL.com. The voting began on Friday afternoon and will continue until just before Super Bowl 50. The final day to cast a vote will be Thursday, February 4, and the winner will be announced during the fifth annual "NFL Honors" awards show on CBS two days later. Go here to cast your vote for Martin now.
The Buccaneers have never had a FedEx Ground Player of the Year winner, but Martin has a strong case to be their first. He rushed for 1,402 yards on 288 carries, second only to Peterson, who finished with 1,487. Among all players with at least 150 carries, Martin led the league with an average of 4.87 yards per tote. He also scored a total of seven touchdowns, six on the ground and one through the air.
Martin added a big-play component to the Buccaneers' attack throughout the season. His 14 carries of 20 or more yards led the NFL and his 33 runs of 10 or more yards ranked second. Martin also had the longest run by any running back in 2015, an 84-yarder that was part of an incredible 235-yard performance at Philadelphia on November 22, the highest single-game total in the NFL this year.