Doug Martin is coming off a career-worst season that included a four-game suspension.
The veteran running back is hoping for a fresh start after leaving the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and signing with the Oakland Raiders in March. He’s made a quick impression with his new employer during organized team activities.
Martin, who reportedly signed a one-year deal, has “really jumped out” during the voluntary workouts, Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Olson said Tuesday, per the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
A two-time 1,400-yard rusher with the Buccaneers, Martin never got untracked last season after serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy at the end of the 2016 season.
A former first-round draft pick of Tampa Bay in 2012, Martin was benched in favor of Peyton Barber in December. He rushed for a career-low 406 rushing yards last season and has been limited to 827 yards over the last two campaigns after erupting for 1,402 in 2015.
However, the 29-year-old Martin, who burst onto the NFL scene by rushing for 1,454 yards and 11 touchdowns as a rookie, is showing the Raiders that he still has some mileage left on his legs.
“He’s really got a fresh set of legs. That’s probably most encouraging,” said Olson. “We’re real excited about it.”
Marshawn Lynch, who came out of retirement to join the Raiders, was the team’s No. 1 running back last season. It’s unclear if Martin can unseat Lynch but he also is a pass-catching threat, hauling in 49 catches as a rookie.
“You see why he’s an All-Pro,” Oakland quarterback Derek Carr said of Martin. “You see why he’s a 1,500-yard back.”