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What will the Tampa Bay Bucs do with running back Doug Martin?

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The biggest question of the off-season for the Tampa Bay Bucs remains unanswered.

Should the Bucs tackle running back Doug Martin?

Or should they let him run free?

It is a difficult question. Martin will miss the first three games of the season after testing positive for drugs, which means it was his second positive. Since his suspension lets the team off the hook of his high-priced contract he signed before last season, it would appear that the team’s options are threefold.

1. The Bucs could stay the course and hope that Martin regains the ability that made him second in the NFL in 2015.

2. They could wash their hands of him, noting he has two good years in five, and invest the money in another back.

3. They could re-sign Martin to a smaller contract, perhaps one where incentives replace base pay. Of course, there is always a risk that a smaller contract could have an impact on his production.

With free agency and the draft coming up, the Bucs will have plenty of questions to answer. The first one, however, seems to be an internal one.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit

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