Doug Martin

Source: Raiders part ways with running back Doug Martin before season

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Source: Raiders part ways with running back Doug Martin before season

The Raiders parted ways with running back Doug Martin, their leading rusher from last season, on Sunday morning, a source confirmed to NBC Sports Bay Area's Scott Bair.

NFL Network's Tom Pelissero was first to report the news.

Martin technically was placed on injured reserve, but an injury settlement should be coming down the pike. That would allow Martin to claim more than the $90,000 guaranteed for his time with the Raiders, and still give him time to latch on with another team. If he stays on IR, he'll earn $930,000 in base salary. 

Martin, 30, rushed for 723 yards and four touchdowns in 2018. He was expected to back up rookie running back Josh Jacobs and be a mentor for the young ball carrier. 

Instead, DeAndre Washington beat out Martin for the job. 

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Washington, 26, has rushed for 41 yards and a touchdown during the preseason while the Raiders only gave Martin two carries. 

The Raiders will have a young crop of backs with Jacobs handling the load. Washington and Jalen Richard figure to find touches as well.

Raiders camp questions: Can Josh Jacobs become every-down running back?

Raiders camp questions: Can Josh Jacobs become every-down running back?

The Raiders were not what you would call a good rushing team last season. Only seven other teams averaged fewer than Oakland's 101.8 rushing yards per game, and only three other teams scored fewer than the Raiders' nine rushing touchdowns.

After seeing Marshawn Lynch call it a career, the Silver and Black used the second of their three first-round picks in the 2019 NFL Draft on Alabama running back Josh Jacobs, a selection most certainly made with the intent of him taking over the reins of the rushing attack. Teams typically don't use first-round picks on running backs and then not utilize them as bell cows.

There's no question that Jacobs looks the part. He's already one of the best pure athletes on the team. He's got a prototypical build, has tremendous vision and has even proven to be an adept pass-catcher. But can he be an every-down back?

Jacobs never played that role at Alabama. Over three collegiate seasons, Jacobs carried the ball a total of 251 times, but no more than 120 times in any one year. For comparison, six NFL running backs rushed the ball at least 250 times last season.

Thus, durability is an obvious potential concern. NFL athletes are bigger, faster and stronger than those in college, and Jacobs will surely feel the cumulative wear and tear that comes with the part. On the other hand, one could argue he's fresher than most rookie running backs, given his relatively light load in college.

In order for the Raiders' offense to take the step or two forward that coach Jon Gruden is hoping for, it's critical that Jacobs lives up to his lofty selection. Yes, receivers Antonio Brown and Tyrell Williams will open things up on the outside, and Doug Martin offers great security in a back-up role, but Jacobs is the only back on Oakland's roster capable of being a game-changer.

Given the additions of Brown and Williams, it's unlikely Jacobs will face a lot of loaded boxes, or at least until he puts some NFL highlights on tape. That should only help the rookie, as should the presence of mammoth offensive tackle Trent Brown, who was signed in free agency.

[RELATED: Can Raiders' O-line properly protect Carr this season?]

Gruden will be looking to get the ball in Jacobs' hands in every which way possible, and his ability to be an effective pass-catcher both out of the backfield and from the slot will help him stay on the field. If Jacobs can stay relatively healthy, he just might run away with the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award.

Madden 20 ratings: Which Raiders players are overrated, underrated

Madden 20 ratings: Which Raiders players are overrated, underrated

The Oakland Raiders were pretty awful in 2018, and the folks over at EA Sports apparently weren't asleep at the wheel.

The video game conglomerate recently released the rankings for every player in "Madden NFL 20," and the Raiders don't look great.

Three of the Raiders' five highest-rated players are new additions, with wide receiver Antonio Brown checking in at 98 overall as Oakland's highest-rated player. Center Rodney Hudson (93), safety Lamarcus Joyner (85), wide receiver Tyrell Williams (83) and quarterback Derek Carr (80) round out the top five.

As a team, the Raiders netted an overall team rating of 80, tied with the Detroit Lions and Cincinnati Bengals.

With that out of the way, let's take a look at which members of the Silver and Black are overrated and which are underrated in the popular game. Why, you might ask? Because it's July. 

Underrated

Antonio Brown, WR (98): No, this isn't a joke. Yes, Brown is a 98 overall and is the second-highest rated receiver in the game behind the Houston Texans' Deandre Hopkins (99). Therein lies the gripe. Brown, for all his locker-room warts in Pittsburgh, has been the best receiver in the game over the last five seasons and hasn't shown any signs of slowing down. He should have been a no-doubt member of the 99 Club along with Hopkins.

Johnathan Abram, Safety (69): While the Mississippi State product received nice rating, a first-round pick of Abram's quality deserved a little higher of a nod. Rookies in the secondary often struggle initially, but Abram has impressed early on in camp, and he likely will earn a starting spot alongside Karl Joseph (78 rating). I expect him to be one of the more impressive rookies this season.

Trent Brown, OT (78): If one of the Raiders' biggest offseason acquisitions only performs at a C-plus level, the Silver and Black will be in trouble. Brown had a decent year with the New England Patriots last season, but really came on in the playoffs, ranking second among the 24 offensive tackles who played at least 50 snaps by grabbing a 79.9 grade, per Pro Football Focus. If Brown performs at that level with the Raiders, his rating should improve as the updates trickle out.

Properly Rated

Derek Carr, QB (80): Carr might end up having a better year than his initial rating suggests, but based on his performance last season this seems like a fair place to put the Raiders' signal-caller. If there is a gripe, though, it's with some of the quarterbacks who are ranked ahead of or alongside him. Andy Dalton (80), Dak Prescott (81), Kirk Cousins (81) and Jared Goff (83) all are rated the same or higher than Carr. While Goff had a great 2018, it's hard to say he's a better overall quarterback than Carr, and with the offensive weapons the Raiders brought in during the offseason, Carr should enjoy a much better statistical season than he did a year ago.

Clelin Ferrell, DE (74): The No. 4 overall pick gets the "reach" rating, accumulating a ranking much lower than normally associated with his draft position. The Clemson product had a productive college career, but he'll have to prove he's an every-down edge rusher in order to rise to meet the rest of the rookie class edge rushers (Josh Allen (77), Nick Bosa (78) and Ed Oliver (79)).

[RELATED: Biggest question facing each AFC West team]

Overrated

Doug Martin, RB (78): After rushing for just 723 yards and four scores last season for the Raiders, this is way too high for a running back who is transitioning from muscle hamster to mentor in the twilight of his career. Expect rookie running back Josh Jacobs (74) to get the lion's share of the carries this season while Martin helps him adjust to life in the NFL. Mentor rating: 99. Actual running back rating: somewhere in the low 70s.

Richie Incognito, LG (76): He didn't play last season and will miss the first two games. He probably deserves to be rated in the low 70s until he proves he still can be a valuable NFL offensive lineman.