Raiders High On RB Doug Martin

Raiders coach Jon Gruden met with former Bucs running back Doug Martin and came away impressed with him as a person, Ian Rapoport of tweets. Rapoport adds that the Raiders are expected to make a strong push for Martin in free agency. 

The Raiders’ interest in Martin is interesting in light of Marshawn Lynch‘s unclear status with the team. Lynch is slated to earn $4MM in 2018 with up to $4MM in bonuses and it’s possible that the Raiders will move on from him before free agency gets underway.

Martin profiles as more of a complementary ‘back than a primary one in the wake of a down season in Tampa Bay. The 29-year-old missed time due to a PED suspension last year and has averaged just 2.9 yards per carry over the last two campaigns. Gruden likely doesn’t see Martin as a one-for-one replacement for Lynch, but he could be part of a running back by committee approach, one that is less costly than having Lynch at the top of the depth chart. Alternatively, he may view Martin as a solid backup for Beast Mode.

Martin topped 1,400 yards as a rookie and did it again in 2015, but he has not cleared 500 yards in his other four NFL seasons.

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