Martin came to terms Wednesday on a contract with the Raiders, Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reports. Having failed to draw significant interest on the open market after the Raiders let him walk in free agency this offseason, Martin is now back in the mix with an Oakland team that lost veteran Isaiah Crowell to a torn Achilles during a recent team workout. Martin's re-signing comes just weeks after Marshawn Lynch announced his retirement, leaving first-round rookie Josh Jacobs as the clear favorite to open the 2019 campaign in the lead role. While it's unlikely the Raiders view Martin as a direct replacement for Crowell, the 30-year-old should still have every chance to compete with DeAndre Washington and Chris Warren for backup work behind Jacobs and receiving ace Jalen Richard.
Martin remains unsigned as an unrestricted free agent, Matt Kawahara of The San Francisco Chronicle reports. Martin stayed healthy throughout 2018 and re-established himself as a competent NFL player, but his 172-723-4 rushing line (4.2 YPC) and 18-116-0 receiving line don't exactly demand a major contractual commitment. He figures to eventually latch on somewhere, likely needing to earn a roster spot ahead of his age-30 season. Oakland could be an option if Marshawn Lynch retires again, though the team already signed Isaiah Crowell as a backfield option for early downs. There's little-to-no chance of Martin regaining the top form he displayed in 2012 and 2015.
Martin toted the rock 21 times for 100 yards in Sunday's 35-3 loss to the Chiefs. It was a bit surprising to see Martin receive 21 carries in a game that the Raiders trailed big from start to finish. Regardless of coaching logic, the veteran took advantage of the opportunity and cashed in for his second straight 100-yard performance. Martin has quietly put himself back on the fantasy map down the stretch, averaging 67.8 rushing yards per game with four touchdowns over his last five contests. The 29-year-old has certainly made himself some money in the upcoming free agency period with this strong finish, as he will probably latch on with a club in a similar backup role to what he served for the Raiders this year.
Martin rushed for 107 yards and one touchdown on 21 attempts, adding one reception for nine yards during Monday's 27-14 win against the Broncos. Coming into Monday night's game, it had been 40 straight outings for Martin since the last time he reached 100 rushing yards. But against a Denver defense that earlier this year became the first in NFL history to allow 200-yard rushers in consecutive games within the same season, anything is possible. Martin entered Christmas Eve having averaged a putrid 2.8 yards per carry between Weeks 14 and 15, but he scampered for a 24-yard score in the second quarter to provide Oakland with a 14-0 lead and rode that momentum to an impressive 107-yard showing. He continues to provide virtually no added value as a pass catcher with just three catches for 15 yards over his past four games, but he's offset that deficiency with three rushing scores during that span. Week 17 presents a promising matchup, as Martin and the Raiders backfield prepare to go up against a Kansas City defense that ranks bottom five in terms of both rushing yards (1,987) and rushing touchdowns (19) allowed this season.
Martin carried nine times for 39 yards during Sunday's 30-14 loss to the Bengals. Martin received single-digit carries for the first time since Week 6 and managed a long gain of just nine yards. He failed to bring in his only target in the passing game and now has just two receptions over the last three games combined. Martin rode a three-game touchdown streak into this one, which had given him some fantasy value, but his yardage totals are too light to rely on each week. He'll look to take advantage of a beatable Broncos run defense next Sunday.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|2||09/15||Kansas City Chiefs||31||23.78|
|7||10/20||@Green Bay Packers||19||18.13|
|10||11/08||Los Angeles Chargers||24||20.00|
|12||11/24||@New York Jets||18||17.75|
|13||12/01||@Kansas City Chiefs||31||23.78|
|16||12/22||@Los Angeles Chargers||24||20.00|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||151||517||3||14||111||0||76|