NFC Notes: Martin, 49ers, Saints, Bears

Let’s round up a few Tuesday notes from around the NFC….

  • Having struggled since his massive rookie season, Buccaneers running back Doug Martin had his best offseason in three years, writes Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune. The upswing in Martin’s play couldn’t come at a better time for the running back, who had his 2016 option declined in the spring, meaning he’s eligible for free agency at season’s end.
  • The 49ers expect to lose some players due to free agency this year, but several early retirements have left San Francisco’s roster more depleted than anticipated. Matt Maiocco of takes a look at how those retirements will affect the franchise going forward.
  • The Saints‘ “walk on a salary cap tightrope” caught up to them this offseason, says Jason Fitzgerald of Over The Cap in a piece for The Sporting News. The team began confronting its cap issues by trading and releasing some high-priced players, and renegotiating multiple contract, but more moves will be necessary to get New Orleans’ cap into better shape, according to Fitzgerald.
  • With the Bears transitioning from a 4-3 defense to a 3-4 look under a new coaching staff, the club made a handful of changes on the defensive line over the last few months. John Mullin of takes stock of the results, examining what the Bears’ reworked line will look like this season.
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