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Buccaneers Haven’t Given Up On Doug Martin Returning For 2017 Season

According to Roy Cummings of FloridaFootballInsiders.com, the Buccaneers haven’t given up on retaining RB Doug Martin for the 2017 season.

Cummings reports that the Buccaneers intend to allow things to play out with Martin and reassess the situation later this spring.

Towards the end of last season, Martin was suspended for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drugs policy and will miss the first three games of the season. With this in mind, Cummings says that there’s really no reason for the Buccaneers to make a call until after Week 3.

The $7 million guaranteed included in Martin’s voided with his suspension, and Cummings mentions that the Buccaneers can afford to and probably should keep him around for at the last the start of the season, considering their lack of depth at the position.

Martin, 28, 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 would free up $7 million while creating no dead money.

In 2016, Martin has rushed for 421 yards on 114 carries (2.9 YPC) to go along with 14 receptions for 134 yards receiving and three touchdowns. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 44 running back out of 62 qualifying players.