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Buccaneers Keeping RB Doug Martin Inactive For Week 17

Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Buccaneers won’t have RB Doug Martin again for their season finale against the Panthers, despite the fact that he’s healthy.

Tampa Bay surprisingly benched Martin this past weekend, so it’s clear that Martin’s future with the Buccaneers is uncertain.

Bucs HC Dirk Koetter explained that he thought Jacquizz Rodgers ultimately gave them the best shot at winning.

“I’ll stand by the defense. He is running hard and we do need to give him more lanes,” Koetter said. “But again, I made the decision that I thought Quizz would give us a better opportunity last week and Quizz did a good job when he was in there. People can say whatever they want about how Doug would’ve been, we don’t know because he wasn’t in there. I’m not trying to confuse anybody. That’s not my intent. I’m trying to put the Bucs in the best position to win games.”

This is really a strange situation, considering that the Buccaneers signed him to a big-money contract after Martin put together an impressive 2015 season.

Martin, 27, is a former first-round pick of the Buccaneers back in 2012. He’s currently in the first year of his five-year, $35.75 million contract that includes $15 million guaranteed. Martin stands to make a base salary of $4 million for the 2016 season.

According to OverTheCap.com, releasing Martin next year would free up no cap space while creating $7 million in dead money, so it’s possible they could attempt to trade Martin during the offseason to pick up some cap room. Otherwise, they would likely need to wait until 2018 to move on from him.

This season, Martin has rushed for 85 yards on 25 carries (3.4 YPC) to go along with five receptions for 34 yards receiving and no touchdowns.

We’ll have more regarding Martin and his future with the Buccaneers as the news is available.