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Buccaneers Release Doug Martin
As Tampa Bay Times staff writer Rick Stroud first reported it, "After six up and mostly down seasons, Doug Martin's run with the Bucs is over."

The two-time Pro Bowl running back was released by Tampa Bay Tuesday, a move that was expected after he failed to rush for less than 500 yards in four of the past five seasons -- and failed to hit 450 yards for a second-straight season. Tampa will save $6.75 million on the salary cap by releasing the running back.

General manager Jason Licht informed Martin, who was under league suspension for the first three games last season and suspended another game for violating team rules, of the move Tuesday morning.

From a fantasy perspective, the release of Martin opens the door for a new featured running back for the Bucs in 2018.

That could be third-year running back Peyton Barber or a major addition in the draft or free agency. Barber started the last five games, but led the team in rushing with 646 yards and three touchdowns.

Jacquizz Rodgers and Charles Sims are both eligible to become unrestricted free agents on March 14. Both are expected to be allowed to move on.

Martin arrived as the Buccaneers' first-round draft pick in 2012 and made the Pro Bowl as a rookie, when he rushed for 1,454 yards and 11 touchdowns, and added 49 catches for 472 receiving yards. Unfortunately, Martin has now played five more seasons since then, and those rookie numbers all remain career highs -- although he did finish with 1,402 yards and six touchdowns in 2015 to earn another Pro Bowl appearance.

The 29-year-old Martin will now hit free agency and hope some team thinks he's worth paying like a starter.

But as suggests, he certainly won't make $6.75 million after gaining a career-low 406 yards last year.