Doug Martin

Raiders Release Doug Martin With Injury Settlement

Late last month, it was reported that the Raiders had released Doug Martin, though shortly thereafter another report indicated that Martin had been placed on IR. In short, it was clear that Martin would be released with an injury settlement, and as ESPN’s Field Yates tweets, that happened today. The club also waived/injured DE Alex Barrett.

Martin has been dealing with a shoulder injury, and once he gets healthy, he will be free to sign with any club. The Raiders could theoretically bring him back, though they would have to wait a minimum of three weeks to do so.

Martin, a former first-round pick of the Buccaneers, spent the first six years of his career with Tampa Bay before catching on with the Raiders in March 2018. In his lone season with the Silver-and-Black, Martin compiled 723 rushing yards on 172 carries — good for a respectable 4.2 YPC mark — and four touchdowns. It’s a far cry from his 2015 First Team All-Pro campaign, when he piled up 1,402 yards on the ground and 271 yards through the air, but he proved that he can still be a serviceable back.

For the time being, at least, the Raiders are set to roll with Josh Jacobs and DeAndre Washington as their 1-2 punch at RB.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders Sign Corey Liuget, Place Doug Martin On IR

The Raiders have signed free agent defensive tackle Corey Liuget, the team announced. Oakland has also placed running back Doug Martin on IR, which contradicts reports that surfaced earlier today indicating that Martin was released.

Liuget has generated plenty of interest on the open market this offseason. He met with the Jaguars, Giants, Seahawks, and Cardinals before signing with Oakland, his former division rival.

Liuget spent the first eight years of his career with the Chargers after the Bolts made him the 18th-overall pick of the 2011 draft. Earlier in his career, Liuget made noise as a defensive end and managed 18 sacks for the Chargers between 2011-2014. His sack totals, predictably, plummeted when he was moved to the interior on a full-time basis, and his 2018 suspension for PEDs further diminished his stock. However, he should serve as a quality rotational piece for Oakland’s D-line.

As for Martin, Oakland may indeed end up releasing him with an injury settlement, as Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area tweets. Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network says that Martin will be healthy soon and will be ready to play somewhere (Twitter link). The Raiders, meanwhile, will open the season with rookie Josh Jacobs as their No. 1 RB, with DeAndre Washington serving as Jacobs’ backup.

In addition to those moves, Oakland also signed UDFA linebacker Bryson Allen-Williams and waived long snapper Andrew DePaola.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders Release Doug Martin

The Raiders have released veteran running back Doug Martin, as Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network reports (via Twitter). Martin was Oakland’s leading rusher in 2018, but the club selected Josh Jacobs in the first round of this year’s draft with the expectation that he would become the new No. 1 RB, and DeAndre Washington‘s excellent preseason earned him the top backup job behind Jacobs.

Martin, a former first-round pick of the Buccaneers, spent the first six years of his career with Tampa Bay before catching on with the Raiders in March 2018. In his lone season with the Silver-and-Black, Martin compiled 723 rushing yards on 172 carries — good for a respectable 4.2 YPC mark — and four touchdowns. It’s a far cry from his 2015 First Team All-Pro campaign, when he piled up 1,402 yards on the ground and 271 yards through the air, but he proved that he can still be a serviceable back.

Head coach Jon Gruden is fond of Martin, so this move may be about getting the 30-year-old back a chance to catch on with an RB-needy team as the preseason draws to a close. Indeed, the Texans are now very much in the market for an established rusher, and many pundits are already connecting Martin to Houston.

Oakland cleared $1.9MM of cap space with the move.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders Re-Sign Doug Martin

The Raiders have agreed to re-sign running back Doug Martin, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (on Twitter). With that, Oakland has a “replacement” for Isaiah Crowell, who is likely done for the year after suffering a torn Achilles. 

Last year, Martin led the team with 723 yards on the ground and averaged a respectable 4.2 yards per carry. This time around, he may not be the team’s top ball carrier. On Thursday, the Raiders used a first round pick on Josh Jacobs and all indications are that they have big plans for the Alabama product.

Back in November, Jon Gruden indicated that he wanted Martin back for another season. It took longer than anticipated, but the veteran has himself a deal for 2019.

He’s a good back. I think I’ll say it again and again, he’s a very good player,” Gruden said. “He’s been a great player in this league. He’s running it. He’s catching it. He picked up some blitz that were flushed. We did a lot of good things on the film that I look at.”

Still, Martin should be able to carve out a decent role, particularly in the wake of Marshawn Lynch‘s retirement. In addition to Jacobs and Martin, the Raiders have Jalen RichardChris Warren III, and DeAndre Washington on hand to keep the chains moving.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

West Notes: Gates, Matthews, Raiders, Cards

While the Chargers have a lesser need at the tight end position than they did when they brought Antonio Gates back for a 16th season, a 17th Gates campaign with the Bolts remains on the radar. But the team has the future Hall of Famer on the back-burner for the time being. Budgetary issues represent the Chargers’ near-future concerns, with Anthony Lynn saying (via Pro Football Talk) Tuesday the team informed Gates it may be a bit before a decision is reached on whether or not to bring him back. Tom Telesco sounded optimistic about a Gates return in January. Hunter Henry stands to be healthy for training camp, and Virgil Green remains on the roster. The Chargers had this duo healthy during free agency last year and bid farewell to Gates. Henry’s injury brought the parties back together, with Gates making $2.5MM. It will be interesting to see if the Bolts have all three on their roster this season.

Here is the latest from the West divisions:

  • With Isaiah Crowell set to visit the Raiders on Thursday, the futures of Marshawn Lynch and Doug Martin may soon become even more uncertain. However, Jon Gruden said (via The Athletic’s Vic Tafur, subscription required) the door remains open on Lynch. Martin, however, may see Crowell — if Gruden gets his wish and he signs — push him aside. Martin’s asking price may have been too high, per Tafur (on Twitter). The Raiders had wanted to re-sign Martin, but not much has transpired on this front since free agency opened. Martin bounced back after consecutive seasons of 2.9 yards per carry, averaging 4.2 per tote and being the Raiders’ primary rusher following Lynch’s injury.
  • Clay Matthews received a decent mid-level deal to sign with the Rams, with Lindsey Thiry of ESPN.com reporting (on Twitter) the veteran outside linebacker’s contract is for two years and $12.75MM. Of that total, $6.5MM is guaranteed. Matthews’ deal can max out at $16.75MM. Matthews made more than $10MM in base salary in each of the past two seasons.
  • The NFL has intervened on the Broncos‘ ownership situation. Roger Goodell said 49ers GM Carmen Policy is serving as the arbitrator for the dispute between the Broncos’ Pat Bowlen Trust members and the owner’s two oldest daughters — Beth Bowlen Wallace and Amie Klemmer, via Ryan O’Halloran of the Denver Post (Twitter links). This process began a few weeks ago. Both Bowlen Wallace and Klemmer have filed a motion to dismiss the arbitration, per Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic (on Twitter). This is Policy’s first time serving as an NFL arbitrator. The Bowlen Trust members are seeking the arbitrator to determine who will take over as the next Broncos owner, among other points (per Jhabvala). Brittany Bowlen has long been viewed as the Trust’s preferred candidate, and the 29-year-old is expected to return to the Broncos this year.
  • A defensive tackle in the Chargers’ 4-3 defense the past two seasons, Darius Philon will return to a role as a 3-4 defensive end with his new team. The Cardinals are planning to use Philon as an end, Kliff Kingsbury said (via ESPN.com’s Josh Weinfuss, on Twitter).
  • C.J. Prosise saw another injury cost him time last season, and Pete Carroll said (via the Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta) Tuesday the fourth-year running back underwent abdominal surgery recently. The Seahawks lost Mike Davis but still have Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny. Carroll remains hopeful Prosise can contribute, but the former third-round pick has gained just 129 yards from scrimmage over the past two seasons.

Raiders Rumors: Martin, Cook, Trgovac

Here’s the latest out of Oakland:

  • The Raiders say they want to hold onto Marshawn Lynch, but they are also still intent on keeping pending free agent Doug Martin, Vic Tafur of The Athletic writes. Martin finished out the year with 723 rushing yards, four touchdowns, and a yards per carry average of 4.2, his best showing since 2015. In late November, Jon Gruden was adamant about re-signing Martin, so it’s little surprise to hear that he remains in the team’s plans.
  • Gruden also said the Raiders will work hard to re-sign tight end Jared Cook, Tafur writes. “I had a good meeting with Jared before he left,” Gruden said. “And we’ll do the best we can to get him back. It will be competitive. I’m sure there are a lot of teams who look at the tape and put him on their wish list.” Cook was named to the Pro Bowl as an alternate after he hauled in a career-high 68 catches for 896 yards and six TDs.
  • Former Buccaneers defensive line coach Brentson Buckner has taken the same job with the Raiders, but former DL coach Mike Trgovac is still in the team’s plans. Gruden says he’ll remain with the club in an advisory role.

Raiders Want To Keep Doug Martin

Doug Martin is slated to reach free agency in the spring, but Raiders head coach Jon Gruden would like to keep him from the open market. This week, Gruden indicated that he is hoping to keep the running back in 2019.

He’s a good back. I think I’ll say it again and again, he’s a very good player,” Gruden said (via Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area). “He’s been a great player in this league. He’s running it. He’s catching it. He picked up some blitz that were flushed. We did a lot of good things on the film that I look at. We’re proud of what we did against a very good defense. We thought Doug Martin played extremely well.”

Martin, an Oakland native, joined the Raiders on a one-year deal that can be worth up to $1.475MM. Despite his inconsistent past, he could be in line for a pay bump thanks to his recent play. Since taking over for the injured Marshawn Lynch, Martin has averaged 4.6 yards per tote. His latest quality performance came on Sunday as he rushed for 51 yards and a touchdown off of eleven carries.

Beast Mode is also ticketed for free agency but it’s not clear whether Gruden & Co. want him back. Meanwhile, backup Jalen Richard will be a restricted free agent.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders To Sign Doug Martin

The Raiders have agreed to terms with Doug Martin, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets, providing the veteran another opportunity after some down years.

This is a one-year deal for the seventh-year back, per Rapoport (on Twitter). Martin is entering what would be his age-29 season.

Connected to Martin last week when it was reported the team was high on the former Bucs back to lead to a Martin-Jon Gruden meeting, the Raiders will hope the formerly coveted free agent-turned-castoff can bounce back. Martin, though, struggled badly over the past two seasons since signing that a lucrative deal in 2016.

The two-time Pro Bowler has averaged 2.9 yards per carry in each of his past two seasons and has gained fewer than 200 receiving yards in each of those. Given that Marshawn Lynch is also not much of a pass-catching threat at this point, this would make for a somewhat curious fit.

Lynch remains on the Raiders’ roster and was due a $1MM roster bonus on Wednesday. The soon-to-be 32-year-old back is set to take up nearly $6MM of the Raiders’ cap, but the team can jettison Lynch mostly free of charge if it chooses.

It would seem Oakland’s roster is not big enough for all four of its current backs. Oakland also has elusive change-of-pace backs DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard in the fold. Neither were as productive last season as they were in 2016, however.

[RELATED: Raiders Depth Chart]

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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 NFL.com 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.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Top 2018 NFL Free Agents By Position: Offense

NFL free agency will get underway on Wednesday, March 14th, and while the list of free agents will change between now and then, we do have some idea of who will be available when free agency kicks off. The frenzy is right around the corner and it’s time for us to break down the outlook for each position. We’ll start today on offense, before getting to defense and special teams later this week.

Listed below are our rankings for the top 15 free agents at each offensive position. The rankings aren’t necessarily determined by the value of the contracts that each player is expected to land in free agency, they are simply the players we like the most at each position, with both short- and long-term value taken into account. Restricted and exclusive-rights free agents are not listed here since they are unlikely to actually reach the open market. The same goes for players who have been franchise tagged or transition tagged.

We’ll almost certainly be higher or lower on some guys than you are, so we encourage you to make your voice heard in our comments section to let us know which free agents we’ve got wrong.

Here’s our breakdown of the current top 15 free agents by offensive position for 2018:

Quarterback:

  1. Kirk Cousins
  2. Drew Brees
  3. Case Keenum
  4. A.J. McCarron
  5. Sam Bradford
  6. Teddy Bridgewater
  7. Colin Kaepernick
  8. Josh McCown
  9. Mike Glennon
  10. Drew Stanton
  11. Jay Cutler
  12. Chase Daniel
  13. Ryan Fitzpatrick
  14. Brock Osweiler
  15. Tom Savage

There were many difficult calls when putting this list together, but ranking Kirk Cousins as the No. 1 QB available was not among them. Cousins is the best quarterback to reach free agency in recent history and he’ll become the highest-paid player of all-time – at least, for some period of time – in mid-March. Who will make history with Cousins? That’s anyone’s guess right now. The Browns have more cap room than any other team, but a recent report from Adam Schefter of ESPN.com listed the Broncos, Cardinals, Jets, and Vikings as the final suitors for Cousins. Of those four, the Jets have the most money to work with, but they’re concerned about the Vikings winning out and Cousins’ desire to win could point him in another direction. If the Broncos and Cardinals want in on the Cousins sweepstakes, they’ll have to get creative with the books.

Drew Brees is included here, but by his own admission, he’ll be re-signing with the Saints rather than testing the open waters of free agency. Unless the Saints lowball their franchise QB, it’s hard to see him leaving New Orleans.

Case Keenum put together a tremendous season for the Vikings, but he doesn’t have a history of success beyond 2017. There will be plenty of interest in Keenum, but only after QB-needy teams strike out on Cousins. The incumbent Vikings could re-sign Keenum, but right now, it seems like they are intent on exploring the Cousins waters first.

There isn’t a ton of footage on A.J. McCarron, which made his placement on this list awfully tricky. We know this much: McCarron did well in place of Dalton in the home stretch of the 2015 season and his former offensive coordinator Hue Jackson was salivating at the chance of landing him before the Browns bungled the trade with the Bengals. McCarron’s relative youth is a plus (he won’t turn 28 until September) and his lack of experience can be looked at as a positive. Unlike some of the other names on this list, he hasn’t run up his NFL odometer.

What will NFL teams make of Teddy Bridgewater and Sam Bradford this offseason? Not long ago, both seemed like quality starting options. However, there are serious injury questions about both players and any team signing them will either look to backstop them with another decent option or ask them to come onboard as a QB2. With that in mind, one has to wonder if Bradford would consider retirement if asked to hold the clipboard for another signal caller. Bradford has earned upwards of $110MM over the years in the NFL, so it’s safe to say that he has enough money in the bank to call it quits if he wants. For now, he’s intent on playing.

Colin Kaepernick‘s placement on this list is sure to draw some strong reactions from his fans and detractors alike. Looking purely at his football ability, there’s no question that he belongs on someone’s roster. At minimum, Kaepernick profiles as a high-end backup, even after a year out of the game.

Quarterbacks coaches have long believed that Mike Glennon is capable of great things, due in part to his height. At 6’7″, he can see over any defensive line, but he hasn’t done much on the field to prove that he is a quality Week 1 starting option. Josh McCown, who is a decade his senior, edges him here for his surprisingly strong performance in 2017 at the helm of a weak Jets offense.

Read more