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Doug Martin more likely to leave on first day of free agency than sign with Buccaneers

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Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the saga of Doug Martin once again continues. Today, Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune says that "sources close to negotiations" told him that, based on the "pace and direction" of negotiations, Martin's likely to sign with another team.

Meanwhile, Rick Stroud reports that Jason licht indeed talked to Doug Martin's agent today, though no agreement will be reached this week. Yesterday, Jason Licht said at the NFL Scouting Combine that the Bucs wanted Martin back, and he wanted to be back with the Bucs.

"We’ll be meeting with Doug’s people here. We’ve got a couple of things going for us here on that one. I know he wants to be a Buc and I know that we want him to be a Buc. I’m sure there will be some obstacles – there always are in negotiations – but we’ll prepare for either way. I’m optimistic and we’ll continue talking with him."

Usually, intent is good enough to get things done, as long as there's cap space. But the Buccaneers don't want to break the bank, and think that Charles Sims with some help could serve to keep the running game going in a pinch. That may or may not be true, there are some alternatives in free agency like Lamar Miller -- though they won't come cheaply, either.

For a team purportedly wanting to build through the draft, letting one of those drafted stars walk isn't a great way to commit to the draft. We'll see whether it eventually gets there -- I"m getting whiplash from all of the back-and-forth reports on Martin's likely destination.