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Buccaneers have to make a decision on Doug Martin before May 3

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David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have to decide whether or not to pick up Doug Martin's fifth-year option by May 3 of this year. The running back is entering the final year of his four-year rookie contract, and the option would keep him in Tampa through the 2016 season. The Bucs may not want the Muscle Hamster to stick around, though: he hasn't looked like a capable running back since 2012.

The timing of this deadline means the Buccaneers can decide on Martin's future after the draft. If they pick up yet another running back in the 2015 NFL draft, I would expect them to pass on extending Martin's contract by another year.

Martin's option would be worth the average of the 3rd through 25th highest-paid players at his position, which would come down to about $3.5 million looking at Over The Cap's position numbers. A fairly hefty contract, but not exactly prohibitive -- and it's worth noting that this is only guaranteed for injury. If Martin doesn't perform, they can still cut him before the start of the 2016 season without owing him anything.

Last year, the Bucs had to make the same decision on Adrian Clayborn, and they declined to pick up his option. As a result, he walked this offseason -- but then the Bucs probably didn't want him back, anyway. The biggest downside to picking up the option is that it sets a floor in contract value at which you can keep that player. But that's a minor problem.

Ironically, the fifth-year option was one of the reasons why Mark Dominik traded up into the first round to pick Martin. Only first-round picks have that option built into their contract, which is valuable, especially for a position where declines are frequent and sudden. Now it looks like the Bucs won't even use that option.