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Buccaneers release Doug Martin

The Buccaneers announced today they are parting ways with former 1st Round Pick.

This move doesn’t come as a huge surprise.  There were rumblings even before the 2017 season began that Martin was on the Bucs chopping block.  Martin did survive and make the roster in 2017, but his impact was minimal.  For the second consecutive season, Martin failed to rush for 450 yards.  Martin finished the season with 138 rushing attempts, 406 yards and three touchdowns.  Good for a paltry 2.9 yards per carry.

Martin has also had his fair share of problems the past couple seasons.  In December 2016 it was announced that Martin had violated the NFL’s Drug Policy.  Martin would serve a four game suspension for his violation.  The suspension covered the last few weeks of the 2016 season and carried over into the beginning of the 2017 campaign.  Martin was also a healthy scratch for the Monday Night Football game against the Atlanta Falcons for what was called a “violation of team rules”.

One of Martin’s best statistical season came in 2015.  He finished with 1,402 yards, which were second only to Adrian Peterson‘s 1,485 yards.  Martin will leave the Buccaneers having a total of 4,633 yards.  This total is good for fourth on the Bucs’ all-time rushing leaders list.  He also finishes his Bucs career with 11 100-yard rushing games.  This ties him for second all-time with Warrick Dunn and only behind James Wilder, who from 1981-1989 compiled 14 100-yard games.

Martin was in the midst of a five-year, $35.75 million contract he signed back in 2016.  Tampa will save around $6.75 million by cutting Martin, as none of his salary was guaranteed going into the 2018 season.

The move now only leaves Tampa with Running Backs Jacquizz Rodgers and Peyton Barber under contract heading into free agency and the draft.  Martin is going to have a tough time finding a job this off-season.  The draft features a strong crop of RB’s, headlined by Penn State’s Saquon Barkley.  The list of free-agents this year is also solid and includes names such as Dion Lewis, Carlos Hyde and Jeremy Hill.

Martin also released the following statement.

Martin will most likely have to settle for a one-year “prove it” type deal. He’ll also most likely be a role-player on whichever team brings him in.  Martin is going to be 30 next year, so his days as a top-tier rusher appear to be over.  However it shakes out we wish Doug Martin nothing but the best!

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