Bucs not ready to make decision on Doug Martin yet

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers don't have to make a decision on Doug Martin yet, so they won't.

Speaking at the NFL Scouting Combine on Wednesday, Bucs general manager Jason Licht and coach Dirk Koetter passed on making any decision about the running back.

"We've checked in with Doug, his well-being is very important to us. We don't have to make a decision right now, we've got time," Licht said. "So there is no point in coming out saying what we want to do or plan on doing. We're going to let the process play out and it's good for both parties."

Added Koetter: "We don't have to make that decision right now. Doug did not have as good a season as he had in 2015, mainly due to injuries. Doug's under contract right now and no decision has to be made on that right now. We don't have to rush it. We can just work through it. That's one of the things high on our list is what's going to happen to our running back position."

The lukewarm comments from Bucs management forecast a parting of ways with Martin, even if they won't do it soon.

Martin played in just eight games in 2016 due to injury and a four-game suspension to end the season. He averaged a paltry 2.9 yards per carry on 144 totes. The PED suspension can allow Tampa to void the rest of the guarantees on the five-year, $35.75 million contract Martin signed last offseason after he rushed for 1,402 yards in 2015.

With a draft deep at the running back position and big-name free agents hitting the market, like Adrian Peterson and Jamaal Charles, Tampa could find several quality options to replace Martin and stabilize a backfield that was decimated by injury last year.

Some other notes from the Bucs' pressers:

»Both Licht and Koetter defended Jameis Winston after the quarterback's comments last week:

Said Koetter: "He made a mistake, he owned up to that mistake. He's 23-years-old. Anyone who has to stand behind a microphone and talk to a group of people, you're going to make mistakes from time to time."

Licht: "He unfortunately made a mistake. He used a poor word choice. He knows it. He owned it. We're fully supportive of Jameis... moving on."

»Mike Glennon should move on, but Licht says they'd welcome the backup back if he doesn't find greener pastures (read: if he plays for cheap, we'd gladly keep him behind Winston).

"We'd love to have Mike back in a perfect scenario," Licht said. "It's going to depend on, I think for him, he's going to have some opportunities. Where it is, what the landscape is there, and how good of a chance he has to start there, but we'd love to have him back."

Expect Glennon to find a new home soon.

»While the Bucs tread carefully talking about Doug Martin, Licht said he'd "love to have" Jacquizz Rodgers return.

»Both Licht and Koetter discussed adding more dynamic offensive pieces. Expect the Bucs to be active early in free agency with some splashy additions.

»Adding a playmaker could mean saying goodbye to Vincent Jackson. Koetter said sides have talked about a potential return, but it sounds more likely VJ will move on.

Licht on Jackson: "I have the utmost respect for him, everybody does. In my mind, in Dirk's mind and in the owners' mind, he'll be a Buc for life. Whatever happens, happens, but we'll always want Vincent to be around the organization."

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