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Bucs release RB Doug Martin after disappointing season

February 20, 2018

FILE - In this Nov. 12, 2017, file photo, Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin (22) runs during the second half of an NFL football game against the New York Jets, in Tampa, Fla. Two-time Pro Bowl running back Doug Martin has been released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018, who may look for a replacement in free agency.(AP Photo/Jason Behnken, File)

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Two-time Pro Bowl running back Doug Martin has been released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who may look for a replacement in free agency.

Martin rushed for a career-low 406 yards in 2017, when he averaged just 2.9 yards per carry after missing the first three games of the season while serving the remainder of a four-game ban for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancers.

The release comes less than two years after Martin signed a five-year, $35.75 million contract that would have paid him $6.75 million in 2018.

The 29-year-old was a first-round draft pick out of Boise State in 2012. He rushed for 1,454 yards and 11 touchdowns as a rookie, but was slowed by an assortment of injuries for much of the past five seasons.

He agreed to his big contract after rushing for 1,402 yards in 2016, finishing second in the league behind Adrian Peterson.

Martin lost his starting job to second-year pro Peyton Barber late last season. Tuesday’s move leaves the Bucs in the market for a new featured back, which the team may seek in free agency or the draft.

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