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Buccaneers Release Running Back Doug Martin and Defensive Tackle Chris Baker

Buccaneers have released defensive tackle Chris Baker and running back Doug Martin according to the team’s official website and the Tampa Bay Times.

The two-time Pro Bowl running back was released by Tampa Bay Tuesday, a move that was expected after he failed to rush for less than 500 yards in four of the past five seasons.

General manager Jason Licht informed Martin of the move Tuesday morning.

The decision will save the Bucs $6.75 million that Martin was scheduled to earn in 2018. Because of the structure of his contract, the team will absorb no dead money on their salary cap.

Martin, 29, was a first-round pick of the Bucs from Boise State in 2012 and quickly burst onto the scene, rushing for 1,454 yards and 11 touchdowns as a rookie and being named to his first Pro Bowl.

Baker signed a “three-year, $15.75 million” contract last March including $9 million in guaranteed money but was a huge disappointment his first year in Tampa, notching only half a sack in 15 games.

Even worse, both coaches and teammates openly questioned Baker’s effort and work ethic-concerns that were also echoed by Baker’s former team the Washington Redskins. His entire $4.875 million cap hit comes off the books and Baker, who turns 31 in October, will likely take a major cut in pay when/if he signs with another team.

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