Buccaneers release RB Doug Martin after six seasons

Former two-time Pro Bowler has been released just before the NFL offseason begins

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have released veteran running back Doug Martin after six seasons with the team, according to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. Martin struggled with injuries in his next two seasons, playing in only 17 of the 32 games in the 2013 and 2014 seasons.

The Bucs announced their decision on Tuesday, with Martin coming off another disappointing season for Tampa Bay.

Peyton Barber, a back-up, is a pending "exclusive rights free agent".

General manager Jason Licht appeared to foreshadow the move earlier in mid-January, saying Martin "just wasn't ever the same" following his suspension. He racked up 1,402 rushing yards that season - second in the National Football League behind Adrian Peterson - while also catching 33 passes for 271 yards and scoring seven total touchdowns.

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Tampa Bay selected Martin with the 31st overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.

It was the second consecutive underwhelming campaign for the two-time Pro Bowler, who failed to crack 450 rushing yards in either of the past two seasons.

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). Martin sat out most of the 2016 season with a hamstring injury, and when he was healthy he barely produced. Given that salary figure, there was no chance Martin would be back.

There will likely be plenty of suitors for the 29-year-old running back.

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