Since the start of the free agency, the Oakland Raiders have steadily added pieces to the puzzle on both sides of the ball. In the process, the front office has honed in on adding key veteran talent to areas of need.
The Raiders have also begun to shift that focus to revamping the offensive personnel in their first offseason under head coach Jon Gruden. According to Ian Rapoport of The NFL Network, the team has agreed to a one-year deal with former Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin:
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 15, 2018
The addition of Martin should not come as much of a surprise given that the Raiders had met with him a few weeks ago shortly after he was released by the Buccaneers. On top of that, Gruden was reportedly “impressed” with the 29-year-old following their face-to-face sit-down.
Martin could step in to provide immediate depth to the running back position alongside fellow former Pro Bowl running back Marshawn Lynch. Although this is an interesting move given that Gruden had recently voiced that he wanted Lynch to be the “feature back,” it doesn’t necessarily mean that the team looking to move on from him, according to Michael Silver of Sports Illustrated.
Yes, Doug Martin is coming to Oakland… but the Raiders have no plans to part ways with Marshawn Lynch. Carry on.
— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) March 15, 2018
Bringing Martin aboard has the potential to improve the Raiders’ running game tremendously. It should be noted that he is coming off a disappointing 2017 campaign where he recorded a career-low 406 rushing yards on a career-worst 2.9 yards per carry in 11 games played. This included rushing for more than 70 yards twice while falling short of double-digit rushing yard totals on three occasions.
In fact, he has fallen below 500 rushing yards four times in his first six seasons in the league. Meanwhile, the other campaigns he notched more than 1,400 rushing yards while earning his only pair of Pro Bowl selections. It has been a rollercoaster ride of a career for Martin that has been greatly impacted by injuries and inconsistency. Perhaps a change of scenery could be just what he needs to get back on track.