Update (3:09 p.m.): The Raiders have officially signed running back Doug Martin to a one-year contract.
The Raiders entered this offseason with five running backs under contract.
Now they have seven. For the time being, anyway.
Former Tampa Bay rusher Doug Martin agreed on terms of a one-year contract with the Silver and Black, NFL Network reported on Thursday. The Raiders also added fullback Keith Smith on a two-year deal. The Martin contract, however, should spark some upheaval on the depth chart.
Team and player have been working towards a deal for weeks, after Martin and head coach Jon Gruden met in person. Gruden came away with a positive impression, and believes Martin’s ready to rebound after consecutive disappointing seasons.
Martin, 29, has averaged 2.9 yards per carry over the past two seasons, after being suspended for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drugs policy.
The Oakland native, who grew up in Stockton, has exceeded 1,400 yards twice in six professional seasons. He had 1,402 yards (4.9 ypc) in 2015, his last season as a dominant rusher.
Martin’s addition should push someone off the depth chart. Many will assume that’s feature back Marshawn Lynch. Don't go there. Lynch was productive in the season’s second half especially, and still has it a roughly a month from his 32nd birthday. Raiders coaches want him on the team, as their feature back.
Lynch’s future could find clarity on Sunday, when he’s owed a $1 million roster bonus. Raider coaches hope Lynch is their feature back next season.
Martin could provide depth behind him, or another feature back.
DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard have similar rushing styles, and Martin could be a secondary option over one of those guys if Lynch is retained.
The Raiders also employ fullback Jamize Olawale and first-year player Elijah Hood.
Another running back could still be added in the draft, as the Raiders look for long-term solutions at this pivotal spot.
Smith should aid the Raiders' special teams effort at the least.