Buccaneers' Doug Martin: Status remains unclear

It is still unclear where Martin (suspension) fits into the Buccaneers' plans for 2017, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Martin played just eight games in the first season of his five-year, $35.75 contract, first missing an extended stretch with a hamstring injury, and then sitting out Week 17 due to a four-game suspension stemming from a violation of the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances. The suspension voids more than $7 million in guarantees from his contract, allowing the Bucs to easily move on from a deal that already looks like a mistake. Martin has a pair of 1,400-yard rushing seasons (2012, 2015) to his name, but he's only played 57 of a possible 80 games through five years, and he managed just 144 carries for 421 yards (2.9 YPC) in 2016. Although he is said to be doing well after completing a stay at a rehab center in February, the 28-year-old running back will still be unavailable for Weeks 1-3. Given his injury history, salary and track record of inconsistency, Martin is in serious danger of being released before the season. His fate might be sealed in late April if the Bucs use a high draft pick on a running back. The team re-signed Jacquizz Rodgers and will also return both Charles Sims and Peyton Barber.

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