Not long ago, it was reported that the Oakland Raiders were releasing running back Doug Martin. However, it was later revealed that the team was putting him on injured reserve. Well, another story has broke, courtesy of Ian Rappaport, that the Raiders have given Martin an injury settlement and he’s officially a free agent.
Martin led the Raiders in rushing during 2018, but a shoulder injury has derailed his time there. With rookie Josh Jacobs in the fold, Oakland didn’t need to wait on Martin and saw it pertinent to let him go. The exact terms of his injury settlement aren’t known quite yet. Also, the extent of his injury isn’t known. It was bad enough for the Raiders to put him on injured reserve, but that could’ve been a way for them to force him out.
It seems likely that Martin will be healthy soon enough and could find a new employer at some point. Parting ways with Martin is a bit surprising since Jon Gruden seemed to be a fan of his. Regardless, the Raiders should be just fine without him. If his injury won’t keep him sidelined for too long, he could make his way to the Houston Texans, who recently lost Lamar Miller. He’s a player to watch for teams who need help at running back. While Martin has been inconsistent, he still has some juice left in the tank.
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State of the Raiders’ Backfield
DeAndre Washington seemed like a dead man walking heading into this offseason. Josh Jacobs is an exciting rookie, Doug Martin was the team’s leading rusher and Jalen Richard is a top-notch receiving threat out of the backfield. However, Washington had an impressive training camp and preseason and played his way into a role in the Raiders offense. Now, what’s interesting is that Jacobs, Richard and Washington all boast similar skill sets.
All three running backs bring strong receiving skills to the backfield. Martin figured to balance things out as a more run-first guy, but now he’s gone. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The NFL values running backs that can catch and the Raiders have three of them. This will give Jon Gruden the chance to get very creative with how he uses his running backs.
Jacobs is the bell-cow of the group and he’ll see most of the plays as a rusher and receiver. He’s very versatile and the team will probably line him up all over the field. Richard isn’t much of a threat on the ground, but he’s excellent in the receiving game. He caught 68 passes for 607 yards in 2018. Washington still won’t see too much time on the field but could make some plays for the team. If he can return to his rookie form when he averaged 5.4 yards per carry on 87 rushes, he could carve out a bigger role in the offense.