Turns out that Jon Gruden and the Raiders weren’t just flirting with recently released Bucs running back Doug Martin. On the second day of free agency, Oakland signed the former two time Buccaneers Pro Bowler to a one year deal.
Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network had news of the deal first:
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 15, 2018
As we wrote last week, the new Raiders boss was targeting and had reportedly met face to face with Martin about joining the Silver and Black. They were allowed to do this before Free Agency began this week, because the Bucs had released Martin and he had cleared waivers.
Martin had signed a lucrative five year contract after rushing for 1,402 yards in the 2015 season, but never lived up to the expectations that came with it. Martin’s off field issues began when he was suspended for four games at the end of the 2016 season for violating the NFL’s performance enhancing drugs policy.
Martin sat the final game of 2016 and he and the Bucs knew that the last three games punishment was looming at the start of 2017. He came to training camp in great shape and while eligible to participate in preseason games, looked good. Then, he sat the first three games, as required, but never regained top form.
He eventually began to give way to second year un-drafted back, Peyton Barber, who got more and more carries over the second half of the season.
That was in part because Martin suffered a concussion in the first half of the game in Atlanta in November and then, didn’t clear concussion protocol for the following week at Green Bay. Barber ran for over 100 yards in the loss to the Packers and only hastened the Bucs plans to use him more.
Then, prior to the Monday night game with Atlanta, Martin did something again off the field, and got himself suspended for the Falcons rematch December 17th.
The handwriting was on the wall at the point for Martin’s departure from the Buccaneers.
In Oakland he will compete now, as it stands, with veteran Marshawn Lynch and also third year running back Jalen Richard, as Gruden and the new coaching staff takes over.
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