Released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Doug Martin is about to find his second NFL home, hoping to rekindle his former magic.
Doug Martin is not the name he once was, and for good reason. The former Boise State standout has only produced one 1,000-yard season since his rookie campaign back in 2012, slowed by injuries. Throughout his six-year career in Tampa Bay, Martin missed a total of 28 games.
So why sign Martin? The potential is there for a big season. While most of the free-agent running backs are cheaper, low-ceiling options, Martin could be a focal point if durability doesn’t derail him. All that said, Martin has averaged a paltry 2.9 yards per carry in each of the past two season, so while taking a flier on him is worthwhile, that’s the extent of his value.
1. Arizona Cardinals
Arizona already has a feature back in David Johnson, but the depth behind him is questionable. The Cardinals could use an experienced hand, and Martin would provide exactly that. While his numbers clearly show he likely is done being the top dog, he can help with a half-dozen carries and a few receptions per game.
2. Houston Texans
The Texans are going to be competing for the AFC South in 2017, and insurance is always a positive. Lamar Miller is going to be the starter out of the backfield, but Martin could help to spell him. Houston should be trying to protect some leads come autumn, and this veteran back could help in that department.
3. Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota is likely losing Jerick McKinnon in free agency. While Dalvin Cook is coming back and is the unquestioned starter, head coach Mike Zimmer may want to ease him into the lineup after tearing his ACL. Martin could be brought into training camp as competition for Latavius Murray, who was a solid red zone option last year.