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Tampa Bay Buccaneers brass "optimistic" about re-signing Doug Martin

By Alex Butler   |   Feb. 24, 2016 at 7:54 PM
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TAMPA, Fla., Feb. 24 (UPI) -- Maybe a switch in nicknames was all Tampa Bay running back Doug Martin needed to get back to productivity.

But it may not be enough to keep him on the team.

Martin, who ranked No. 2 in the NFL with 1,402 rushing yards last season, earned $2,159,668 in the final year of his rookie contract last season. He is set to become a free agent in March.

Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht told the Tampa Bay Times' Rick Stroud that he is "optimistic" about resigning the running back, formerly known as "Muscle Hamster."

"I know he wants to be a Buc and we want him to be a Buc," Licht told Stroud.

The Buccaneers selected Martin, 27, out of Boise State with the No. 31 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.

The "Dougernaut" rushed for 1,454 yards and 12 total scores on 1,454 carries in his rookie year. He finished with 1,926 yards from scrimmage that season. Martin has been selected to two Pro Bowl teams and was once selected as a First-Team All-Pro.

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