Buccaneers release Martin after up-and-down tenure

By Spectrum Sports Staff,
Last Updated: Tuesday, February 20, 2018, 12:04 PM EST

Doug Martin's roller coaster ride with the Buccaneers has come to an end.  The team announced Tuesday that they have released Martin just two seasons into the five-year extension he signed during the 2015 season.

Over the last two disappointing seasons, Martin has rushed for just 827 yards and 6 TD in 19 games.

The 2012 first-round pick out of Boise State rushed for over 4,600 yards in his six-year tenure and twice made the Pro Bowl.  His career rushing yardage total ranks fourth-best in Bucs history, behind only James Wilder, Mike Alstott and Warrick Dunn.

His rookie season was his best, when he ranked fourth in the NFL with 1,454 rushing yards.  Martin struggled with injuries in his next two seasons, playing in only 17 of the 32 games in the 2013 and 2014 seasons.  But in 2015, he again showed promise when he finished second in the league with 1,402 rushing yards.

Martin holds franchise records for most rushing yards in a game (251), longest run (84 yards vs. Philadelphia in 2015) and rookie single-season rushing yards (1,454).

The running back's contract called for a $6.75 million salary in 2018 and a $7.0 million salary in 2019 and 2020.  In 2016, Martin received a four-game suspension from the NFL for using performance-enhancing drugs, which voided any guaranteed money in Martin's original contract extension.

The Buccaneers running game will need to be addressed this offseason.  It ranked 27th in the league in 2017, at just over 90 yards/game and the only returning running backs will be Peyton Barber and Jacquizz Rodgers.