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Doug Martin's days with Buccaneers numbered?

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Doug Martin's Tampa Bay future came into question when the Buccaneers fielded phone calls about potential trades at last month's deadline.

Now that third-round rookie Charles Sims is healthy and playing a major role in the Bucs' backfield, Martin looms as the odd man out after returning to practice Thursday.

Averaging a paltry 3.25 yards per carry since racking up 1,926 yards from scrimmage in a stellar rookie season, Martin has been severely outplayed by journeyman Bobby Rainey over the past two years.

Like Chris Johnson in his waning Titans days, Martin has shown a startling lack of vision and patience while failing to make defenders miss in the open field. He has lost any semblance of elusiveness.

Just as important, Martin is better suited to a downhill power scheme than the current zone-based system in Tampa.

The tea leaves suggest the Buccaneers will use a backfield tandem of Sims and Rainey, with Mike James maintaining the short-yardage role.

In fact, Ira Kaufman of The Tampa Tribune suggested this week that Martin's "days in Tampa are numbered."

That jibes with league-wide expectations that the Buccaneers will continue to shop Martin after the season.

A vestige of the Greg Schiano-Mark Dominik regime, Martin seems headed for a change of scenery in 2015.

Perhaps Schiano will put in a good word with close friend Bill Belichick in New England.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast discusses Dez Bryant's contract situation and eliminates more teams from playoff contention during "Stick a Fork in 'Em." Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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