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Bucs Release Martino, Create Spot for Winston

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers released wide receiver Freddie Martino on Thursday, a move that will allow for the activation of quarterback Jameis Winston to the active roster on Friday.

Winston returned to the Buccaneers on Tuesday following a three game NFL suspension but the team was allowed a three-day exemption before he counted against the 53-man roster. The Bucs had to create a spot for him on that roster before the start of practice on Friday.

Martino played in each of the Buccaneers' first three games but did not have a catch. He was on the field for 24 offensive snaps in that span and was targeted one time. Martino also played on special teams and made one kick-coverage stop. Over the course of the last three seasons, he has played in 24 games for the Buccaneers, recording 13 catches for 238 yards and one touchdown.

The Buccaneers will carry three quarterbacks on the 53-man roster, retaining Ryan Griffin along with the two have started for the team in the past two seasons, Winston and Ryan Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick started the three games while Winston was suspended and threw for 1,230 yards, 11 touchdowns, four interceptions and a 124.8 passer rating.

Tampa Bay still has five wide receivers on the roster after the release of Martino. Rookie Justin Watson, a fifth-round draft pick out of Penn, will step up a spot after being inactive for each of the first three games of the season.

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